2019 Youth Tour: Day 4
We had breakfast this morning at 7:30 a.m. with Youth Tour delegates from Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia and South Carolina. The students from Alabama and South Carolina have some cool southern accents! After breakfast, we attended the NRECA’s Congressional Simulation Class with Jennifer Jura and Ivy Prater. They took our group through the legislative process from the initial start as an idea when a representative sponsors a bill, and it’s assigned to a committee for study, release and vote to pass the bill. Then a committee of House and Senate members work out any differences between their versions of the bill and vote for final approval. If approved, the bill will be printed and sent to the President of the United States to sign or veto the bill.
9:30 a.m. We boarded the motor coaches and headed north on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to our next stop on our itinerary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee's second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Rebellion", Gettysburg was the Civil War's bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's immortal "Gettysburg Address".
The Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War features one of the largest collections of Civil War relics in the world. The museum features relics of the Battle of Gettysburg and personalities who served in the Civil War, inter-active exhibits, and multi-media presentations that cover the conflict from beginning to end as well as describe the Battle of Gettysburg and its terrible aftermath.
We viewed the Cyclorama Painting by French artist Paul Philippoteaux. Mr. Philippoteaux spent months on the battlefield researching the battle with veterans, a battlefield guide and a photographer. It took Philippoteaux more than a year to complete the painting. The result is a breathtaking canvas that measures 377 feet in circumference and 42 feet high. Longer than a football field and as tall as a four-story structure, the Gettysburg Cyclorama oil painting, along with light and sound effects, immerses visitors in the fury of Pickett’s Charge during the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. It was an amazing experience!
1:45 p.m. We toured the sacred battlefield of Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1st thru July 3rd, 1863, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, halting Lee's invasion of the North.
On November 19th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.
3:45 p.m. We boarded the motor coaches and headed south on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to our next stop on our itinerary, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
On September 11, 2001, exactly 60 years after the Pentagon’s construction began, terrorists hijacked and piloted American Airlines Flight 77 into the western side of the Pentagon killing 184 people (59 crew members, passengers and 125 Department of Defense employees working inside the Pentagon). The attack on September 11, 2001 marked the first terrorist attack in Washington, D.C. since the British burned the city during the War of 1812.
The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial is designed to pay tribute to each victim featuring 184 elevated benches, Memorial Units, made of stainless steel and granite. The Memorial Units are highlighted by a pool of running water under the bench, reflecting light in the evenings onto the underside of the bench and illuminating the adjacent crushed gravel surrounding areas.
The American Airlines Flight 77 Memorial Units and the victim’s names are visible looking by looking in the direction of the plane’s approach. The Department of Defense employee’s Memorial Units and the employee’s names are visible looking by looking in the direction of the Pentagon.
The Pentagon is one of the world's largest office buildings, and you can see a difference in the color of the repaired Pentagon walls where the American Airlines Flight 77 hit on September 11, 2001. Everyone knows where they were when this event happened.
5:45 p.m. For dinner, we stopped at the mall of all malls… The Pentagon City Mall! OMG! This mall rules. I (Emma) wish it was in the Pagosa Springs or Durango area. They have everything. Not enough time for shopping Liz Fiddes! Then, it was time to get back to the memorials and the real reason we came to Washington, D.C.
More information and pictures to follow later. Good night from Arlington, Virginia…
Emma, Heleny, Larissa, Diego and Irie