In Washington D.C., the last thing you would expect to see is 250 teenagers in blue corduroy jackets. Being one of nine students who attended the Washington Leadership Conference through my summer of junior year. After waiting two hours in the Denver airport, we were finally on the plane and on our way. We anticipated the moment when we flew over the monuments and finally saw the East Coast. It was incredibly emotional seeing each and every monument from the top of the world especially my favorite; the Lincoln memorial.
When we got off of the plane, the humidity hit us like a ton of bricks. We swam through the air and ran to the metro station. Once we finally got to our hotel, it was ten o’clock at night and the rest of the FFA members had already eaten and gone to their rooms. We got our shirts, keys and luggage and headed up the stairs.
Each one of my roommates were from different states: Ohio, Missouri, and Florida. We each had different accents; one southern, one eastern, one a mix of the two, and mine, apparently the most distinct: the Idaho accent. They all had the same time zones as Washington D.C., but I was still 2 hours behind. I wasn’t tired at all and I got a total of 4 hours of sleep.
Tired and anxious for a few more hours of sleep, we met our groups and took a tour of the city. That night, we went on a night tour of each monument. We saw the amazing fountains that are held in the World War II memorial, the incredible heights of the Washington Monument, the breath-taking craftsmanship of the Lincoln statue, the emotional scenes and names depicted in the Veterans memorial, and finally the simply beautiful Thomas Jefferson Memorial, with its angelic dome and marble stairway. We went to the Roosevelt Memorial and stood in front of the capacious pond where the sun was setting and I saw each monument standing next to each other as if in a single file line. The breathtaking view was worth the whole trip.
They took us to the capitol building last. We were not allowed to speak or take pictures until they informed us that we could. They sat us down on the steps of the stairs over-looking the fantastic building. We watched it in silence. The lights were burning bright in front of us. As we walked back to our buses, we all stared closely at the building, admiring it’s history and legacy on our country and our world.
This was an amazing experience for me as well as the other 249 members who attended this conference. We learned many things, met many people and saw incredible sights. It was a once in a lifetime journey, but hopefully, I can stand in front of the giant statue of one of our first presidents inside the most beautiful building and the most incredible city I’ve ever seen.
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