Washington, D.C. — A Family Vacation

When I was a senior in high school, my parents asked me where I would like to go for summer vacation after I graduated in the summer of 2006. I don’t remember if they gave any stipulations, but I decided on Washington, D.C., because I loved learning about history and political science, and I wanted to see the nation’s capital. I actually ended up majoring in both history and political science in college.

I worked with my dad on picking out which monuments, memorials, and museums we would see, and then he worked on figuring out the itinerary. I don’t remember how many days we were there, but my dad packed in as many sights as possible into our trip! We got to see all of the memorials around the National Mall, and we even got to go to the Smithsonian Institution. Actually, the Smithsonian Institution is made up of a several museums and research centers, mostly within Washington, D.C.

My dad reached out to our U.S. senator and/or U.S. congressmember to get assistance in getting tickets to tours. We were able to tour the Library of Congress, Capitol building, and the White House! The senator and/or congressmember has a staff member to help constituents set up tours. When I was an intern for Congressman Visclosky of Northwest Indiana, I would take down people’s contact information when they called to ask about tours, and then I would pass it along to a co-worker who would handle the logistics. Those were always fun phone calls because the people were nice; most of the other phone calls I received were from people complaining about the government!

I remember going into the Capitol building, and we went inside the Senate chamber. We were on the second floor looking out onto the first floor of the chamber. We could make out a few of the Senators below including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain! They were all walking around and talking with each other. A session was either about to start or it had just ended.

I enjoyed seeing the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The lifelike statues of soldiers were eerie but poignant. It was also sentimental since both of my grandfathers served in the war. My grandpa on my dad’s side served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Korea. My grandpa on my mom’s side served in the U.S. Air Force. The memorial was touching, and I liked that it wasn’t just a wall of names. I could sense what a soldier actually looked like during the Korean War by visiting this memorial.

I absolutely loved this family vacation! I got to learn so much about U.S. history and politics, and it was so neat to be in the middle of it all! The city was buzzing with activity to help our nation progress, and it also respectfully remembered and honored our nation’s past.



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