Washington, D.C. Honor Flight
Students from Montana went on a Washington, D.C. field trip and experienced a life-changing event at Arlington National Cemetery.
by Steve Maehl, VP of Student Travel
35 travelers from western Montana traveled this October with Global Travel Alliance to Washington, D.C. and New York City. Along with their historical tour of our nation’s Capital, guides Brian McCauley and myself placed a heavy emphasis on service and sacrifice. The pinnacle of this insistence was a morning tour of Arlington National Cemetery. For most students, the Arlington tour highlight is witnessing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. These students in particular were privileged to watch this courageous event alongside veterans from WWII. The veterans were visiting D.C. on an honor flight from Dallas, TX.
After spending a few hours walking amongst headstones of soldiers who had given their lives for freedom, these students were able to thank those still alive that fought for freedom in WWII. We gathered around “the greatest generation” and one by one they filed by our seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students who thanked them for what they had done for our county. Student Dante later said this:
“It really made me realize what we have gone through to get what we have today in this country.”
Tears were shed by travelers and veterans alike in what was reported as one of the most memorable moments of the trip. McKayla added her own appreciation:
“I really appreciate now everyone that has done what they have for our country to give me the freedom and safety I have.”
Parents on the trip and family members of the veterans were equally impressed with the mature interactions our students sought out while on tour. One mother said this:
“Seeing our kids interact with the veterans helped them see the reality of the hard work that others have done before them.”
The group ended their day at the Korean War Memorial, where an inscription can be found on the granite wall that states “FREEDOM IS NOT FREE”. These students understood that on this day, and have gained a greater appreciation for their country and for every freedom they experience.
This experience is why Global Travel Alliance exists. All of the marketing, coordinating, meeting and guiding comes down to that moment when groups are wowed by their student travel opportunity, on-location, in-person. Thank you to the veterans of WWII and all of the men and women who have served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. Thank you students, parents, and teachers for partnering with us.