Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Washington DC: 8th Graders visit War Memorials, White House and Mount Vernon

8th graders had 4 main stops on their tour of Washington DC today:  Vietnam Veterans Memorial,  Korean War Memorial, the White House and Mt. Vernon. 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial:

Excerpt from 8th grade student Emma S's tour guide report on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial:

"The Vietnam Memorial was started by a Vietnam vet named Jan Scruggs. He wanted to make sure there was a special memorial for the Americans who fought in the war... The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the most visited monument in the nation's capital. It lists names of serviceman and women who were killed or missing during the Vietnam War. The first Americal soldier died in Vietnam in 1959. By 1975 over 60,000 Americans had given their lives."

Korean War Memorial:

Excerpt from 8th grade student Justin K's tour guide report on the Korean War Veterans Memorial:

Justin at the Korean War Veterans Memorial
"The memorial took three years to build, starting in 1992.  The memorial was completed and dedicated in 1995 and was designed by Sculptor Frank C. Gaylord of Barre, Vermont... The statues are surrounded by polished granite stripes, which symbolize rice patties.  The troops wear ponchos covering their weapons and equipment.   The ponchos symbolize the blowing of the cold Korea wind.  Statues that represent the Marines have their helmets fastened on their heads, with the chin straps attached.  One figure is a South Korean "Katsua," a Korean who was attached to the United States military.

The mural wall was designed by Louis Nelson of New York and fabricated by Cold Spring Granite Company. The wall contains over 2,400 photographs of soldiers that were obtained from the National Archives.  The photographs were enhanced by computer to give a uniform lighting effect and the desired size.  The reflective quality of the academy black granite creates the image of a total of 38 statues, symbolic of the 38th parallel and the 38 months of war.  When viewing the wall from afar, it appears to be the mountain ranges of Korea.  The wall is arranged by the branches of the military.  It consists of 41 panels, 164 feet."

The White House:

For more than 200 years, the White House has been more than just the home of the Presidents and their families. Throughout the world, it is recognized as the symbol of the President, of the President's administration, and of the United States.

Mount Vernon:

Excerpt from 8th grade student Orian F's tour guide report on Mount Vernon:

"Mount Vernon was the home of George and Martha Washington.  The house was named after Admiral Edward Vernon, Lawrence Washington's commander in the British navy. It was built for Washington's family in 1735.  George Washington lived there from 1747 until 1799, when he died.  He lived at Mount Vernon both before and after his presidency...  Mount Vernon overlooks the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia,  The estate is located south of Washington DC..."

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