Wabash Blogs Washington 2006 Immersion Trip

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Museums and Memorials

Jon Albright- Hello from D.C.  Today we, the PSC 311 class, took the day to tour/get acquainted with the city.  The day started off bright and early, at least for us College Students, 10:30am.  We took the Metro down town to the Smithsonian stop, and thus began the day.  Our tour was to center around the National Mall, just like the mall we have at Wabash.  The day was basically divided into two sections; the first was the museums, and the second was monuments and memorials. 

The first stop was the National Art Museum.  Most of the art in museum was either modern art or a type of photography that was blown up to the size of the average wall painting.  The consensus was that while it was interesting, the museum lacked anyone that most of us have ever heard of.  However, when we were leaving we stumbled upon a Picasso; this was possibly the only piece or artist we all knew.  We toured the museum for just over an hour and then walked a little further down the road to the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space. 

The Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space was very impressive.  Upon entering we were greeted with the much of the actual lunar lander pieces.  The museum was packed with several interesting exhibits that formed a time line of air and space technology and information.  I toured the section dedicated to Galileo and then on to the modern astronomers.  I then proceeded on to the Orville and Wilbur Wright exhibit.  Did you know that one of the brothers only graduated with an 81% from high school, right there Indiana?  Yeah, one of the people who made human flight didn’t even have a GPA that most of us had in high school.   We spent another hour there and then proceeded to the American Indian Museum.  Our time there was limited, but so was the space within the museum.  We then went to the Congressional National Botanical Gardens which currently has an extremely large Orchid exhibit. 


When the class finally finished in the gardens, we stopped for a photo shoot in front of the Capitol building.  Next we went on the long trek back down the other side of the mall to see the Washington Monument.  We were going to take the elevator to the top of the monument; unfortunately we were too late, and missed our chance for tickets. There are only 1800 tickets available daily, so you can imagine how fast those go on a Sunday. 

Our next trek was to the War Memorial.  We visited each of the other individual memorials starting with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  When I first got to the memorial I was interested, but it was not one of the top ten reasons I came to visit.  However, as I began walking down the sidewalk I happened upon an older woman and could not but see the hurt in her eyes.  She quite possibly could have lost a son or husband in the war, and I figured that was the reason.  A name, that is all there was on the wall, along with 49,999 more, and it brought her to tears.  However I believe it was not a bad thing, maybe with her visiting this, it will be like seeing the grave of a lost one that you have never seen, and provide closure.  We then went to the Korean War Memorial.  Lastly, we visited the Abraham Lincoln memorial, which is currently being renovated, but we were able to see it anyway. 

I have to admit it now that I am writing this down; a lot of the exhibits I visited were centered on primary school or possibly high school children.  However, not everyone can say that they have visited these treasures of our native country.  I am glad to be a part of this trip, to have the opportunity we have at Wabash College is outstanding.  We should, and do, feel honored to have this opportunity.  I hope that this little addition will be read, and will provoke that little boy, and maybe if a woman is reading this the little girl, to make the trip here to the nation's capitol, Washington D.C.

To view more photos, check out the second day's photo album.


I enjoyed reading about your second day and the visits to the war memorials. However, you didn't mention the WWII memorial. I hope you also took advantage of being able to visit this memorial, too, in honor of our veterans who fought and died in World War II.

Marilyn Smith

Ms Smith-

Thanks for your interest and input! We did visit the WWII memorial, and it was the first time any of us had seen it. I found it to be moving, especially considering the criticism some groups had made of it in the news. No pictures were taken of it with the school's camera, but I will check around and see if we can post some pictures tonight from someone else's camera.

Thanks again,
Justin Liedel