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Trip enhances appreciation

As we move toward 2014, the time for reflection of the previous year is on the minds of many. Making plans and New Year’s resolutions are taking top priority. However, a trip late this December has certainly changed my reflections and memories.

My first trip to our nation’s capital was a memorable experience. Combined with attending the Military Bowl watching the Marshall Thundering Herd at Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium in Annapolis along with seeing the many memorials, monuments, and the structures of our government is definitely in my top memories of 2013.

At first, it was simply a trip to watch a football game, see the many sights, and visit a city I hadn’t been to before. However, after making the trip, my thoughts quickly changed.

In school, we learn about the history of our country, the structure of our government, and the facets that make up surrounding area.

But, as I have found this weekend there is no substitute for seeing it firsthand.

Most stadiums have a ring of honor or names or great players. However, sitting in the stadium the first thing you notice is instead of names, each war or conflict that either the Navy or Marine-Corps branches have been involved in are listed on the walls and facade around the stadium. The stadium chair back seats have a memorial plate.

Also, within the stadium visitors can read about the various wars and conflicts at different locations.

The vast history in and around the stadium made the entire gameday experience so much better and was capped with a Marshall victory over the Maryland Terrapins.

As for the sites in DC, whether it was the Smithsonian, the Capitol, Supreme Court, White House, Library of Congress, National Archives, any of the memorials, or any of the other sights and attractions, each had its place and rich history to be learned.

Not having a large amount of time probably took away a small bit from the overall experience because there were so many things to do and places to spend more time. However, with the time available, all were fascinating and bring all those things I learned in school to life.

I was able to see so many things that helped me have a better appreciation for what those individuals and entities did to shape our country.

Another element that was a plus is that while D.C. is a large city, many of these sights are within walking distance and easy to move from one to another. This allows visitors to frequent many of the attractions if you only have a day.

While on many days this city is divided by the folks on the right, left, or in the middle, there are so many wonderful elements that should remind us of what is truly important about the history and what can be accomplished when those leading our nation work together and do what is in the best interest of the citizens who they serve.

If you are planning a trip, these locations in Washington D.C. and Annapolis, Md., are places that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

 

Josh Morrison is the general manager at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at josh.morrison@irontontribune.com