Led by Cornerstone faculty, Ken Campbell, Scott Edmondson, Erin Richardson, and Cynthia White, our 8th-grade students were able to take a step back in time and see where the birth of our great nation started. They could not overlook the evidence of the founding fathers’ faith etched upon buildings, quoted on memorials, and published in documents.
They stood at The Lincoln Memorial where they got to read inscriptions of “Honest Abe’s” speeches and stand in the spot where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic “I Have a Dream Speech”, sat in Ford’s Theater and saw firsthand where Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth and stood within inches of the bed where he drew his last breath in Peterson House. “I liked visiting the Lincoln and the Jefferson memorial the most, they were really big and amazing.” Eve Ellison (8)
Students walked in somber awe as they reflected on the thousands of lives lost while at Arlington National Cemetery and reverently watched the changing of the guards at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They toured the Capitol and gazed in wonder as they looked up at the ceiling of the Rotunda and saw the exact location where past presidents’ desks were located during sessions of Congress.
They walked the floors of George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, and got to see the bedroom in which he took his last breath and saw his tomb which was the final resting place, alongside his devoted wife Martha. Before going on the trip, the students wrote letters to veterans, thanking them for their service to our country, and placed them at the Vietnam Wall. They walked through the Pentagon Memorial, where many lost their lives on September 11th, and got a better understanding of the gravity of that somber day.
“My favorite location was the Pentagon Memorial because it was so beautiful, and it felt so real to hear many airplanes fly over. There were many secular ideas throughout the week, but because we are taught with a Biblical perspective, we were able to understand the truth.” Madison Pendley (8)
At Museum of the Bible, students were able to watch stories of the Old and New Testament, which made the Bible come alive, experienced first-century Nazareth, and encountered hundreds of rare artifacts. “My favorite location we visited was Museum of the Bible because it had an incredible walkthrough of many biblical stories and gave me a better understanding of the history.” Esme Gatti (8)
The common thread throughout the trip was the Christian foundation of our nation and how the hand of God was in it all. Samuel Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and so many more spoke of the importance of Christianity in society and George Washington said it best, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens, and soldiers, we certainly ought not be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”
8th-grade student, Jackson Galat, boasted “All of the teachers on the trip were amazing! Mr. Edmonson and Coach Campbell were so funny, and Mrs. White was incredibly helpful, such as when a student got sick, she stayed back at the hotel to help. Mrs. Richardson had a huge impact on me because she recognized that I have a love for history, and she showed me things that she thought I would enjoy.”
“Our students were so respectful, not only to the teachers but to the bus drivers, tour guide, museum employees, security guards, hotel staff, and other students they met during the week. It was precious watching their interactions. They also looked out for each other and obeyed when they were asked to do something (without complaining). We walked six to eight miles each day and our tour guide was so impressed by not only their stamina but also by their good behavior. They represented Cornerstone so well,” praised Erin Richardson.
8th-grade English teacher, Cynthia White, added "A high moment was when the students gathered on the steps of the Lincoln memorial and recited a large portion of the Declaration of Independence. What a blessing to know that this generation is being instilled with the biblical values that once formed our nation.”
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