St. Justin Martyr students travel to the East Coast to experience American history

By Katriel Cenabre and Renee Faecke     6/10/2019

Four weeks ago, I was able to go on a trip with my classmates to the East Coast for a week. I can say that without a doubt, that week was one of the most fun, educational, and tiring weeks I’ve experienced so far. On this trip, I got to learn about history from a whole new perspective. What made it so fun was that I got to learn new things about the places I have read about in social studies class, and see them as well. 

Our first day was spent in Boston. My class and I walked (most of) the Freedom Trail, and we saw the monument dedicated to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, Boston’s Holocaust memorial, and the church where Paul Revere saw the two lanterns. The next day was mostly spent traveling to New York, but before we said goodbye to Boston, we got to see the very harbor where the Boston Tea Party took place. Soon, we were on the road to New York, New York. On our way, we also got to go see Plymouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock.  

In New York, we got to go to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty and then to Ellis Island to visit the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, and I read the story of immigrants from back then; as I walked around, I wondered how they must have felt during registration. After that, we also got to see the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, which made me really think about how much the U.S. has changed since then. 

After New York, we spent a day traveling to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. When we arrived, we first went to the site where the Gettysburg Address was given, then got to see the historical battlefield where one of the bloodiest battles fought during the Civil War took place. We also got to see both the Confederate and Union memorials set up there. In the town, we could even see bullet holes on the walls of some buildings. 

As we neared Washington D.C, we stopped at the Arlington cemetery and saw the changing of the guard ceremony. In Washington D.C, we went to a lot of places that were just overflowing with history. We saw the theater where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Then, the Capitol Building, and the Library of Congress, and then stopped in front of the White House. We also saw the war memorials for the Vietnam War and Korean War. We also visited the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and walking through it reminded me of how important it is to remember things in history like this to stop them from happening again. 

Overall, this trip was an incredibly meaningful experience, and I’m so glad that I was able to go on it. It helped me connect more with my classmates (you really do learn a lot about them when you see them jet lagged), and we made a lot of new memories that I can look back at later on. This trip was very educational, and not only taught me things about history, but about other important lessons as well. Possibly the most valuable lesson I got out of this trip was how the world is so capable of doing bad, yet how when people are united together, we’re able to overcome all those problems.