Awe-inspired by the USA

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Awe-inspired by the USA

History and Politics Trip to Washington DC and New York

Twenty-five pupils from the Lower and Upper Sixth embarked upon an exhilarating, action-packed and illuminating weeklong tour of New York and Washington DC. The jam-pack itinerary started with an exhilarating evening visit to the bustling and vibrant Times Square with its lively entertainment and luminous and gregarious billboards.

We spent the following two days in New York where highlights of the city visit included an insightful tour of the UN and visit to some of the Committees in session, a moving and humbling visit to the 9/11 Memorial and an edifying tour of the Federal Reserve and explanation of its remarkable Gold Vault.

Further memorable moments included a sun-drenched visit to Central Park, a brief stop-off to observe the specular architecture of Grand Central Station and a delightful ferry trip to Ellis Island, stopping en-route to observe the impressive Statute of Liberty and the island’s historic and interactive immigration centre.

Our time in New York was rounded off with an evening time visit to the Empire State Building with some stunning panoramic views of Manhattan lit-up at night.

Our next destination was Washington DC where another packed itinerary unfolded. The next two days were spent completing memorable visits of the capital, beginning with a spectacular late evening visit to the illuminated White House.

The following day was spent on the other side of the Potomac River were we visited the impressive and moving Arlington National Cemetery which pays tribute as the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members and veterans before journeying to visit the home of the United States Defense Department, the Pentagon. Here we received an informative tour articulated by serving military personnel of the workings of the Pentagon and the nation’s military history as well as observing the poignant National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial dedicated to those who were tragically killed on-board Flight 77.

The day was finished-off with an evening visit to the iconic Hard Rock Café. The home of popular culture, the Café is renowned for its abundance of rock and roll memorabilia decorating the walls in addition to its much celebrated milkshakes, burgers and fries!

The penultimate day was spent completing a comprehensive and enlightening tour of the Capitol which culminated in the group sitting in on a debate in the House of Representatives to witness speeches by Republican members and a fleeting visit by the House Speaker Paul Ryan.

We then toured the iconic bastion of Justice in the USA, the Supreme Court where precedent historic cases such as Brown v. Board have been decided.

The week was completed with an awe-inspiring walk in glorious sunshine past the thought provoking Martin Luther King memorial, emotive Korean War Memorial and the towering Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial which was home to the iconic 1963, “March on Washington” and King’s renowned “I have a Dream” speech.

Overall, it was an unforgettable trip for everyone involved.