What an incredible day for the student winners of the Being an American Essay Contest!
First, we kicked off the day at the National Archives, where everyone went into the Rotunda to see the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The students enjoyed the opportunity to see our Founding documents that they wrote about in their essays.
Next, the students went over to the Capitol and walked onto House floor–the room where the House of Representatives meets to vote on bills. What a rare opportunity! We were accompanied by former Congressman Mickey Edwards (R-OK), who told a bit about the history of the room and what it’s like to work as a civil servant. When asked about words to inspire the Essay Contest winners, he said, “Democracy is not a spectator sport,” and that he would encourage all students to run for office, but acknowledged that there are many other ways to change history and improve the world without holding an office.
Next, we traveled over to the Supreme Court, where we learned about the judicial process and the history of the Supreme Court building. We saw a giant statue of Chief Justice John Marshall as well as the marble spiral staircases and the actual chamber where the Court convenes and hears arguments.
We finished off the night with a tour of the monuments – I love seeing those great tributes to history all lit up at night! I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings, with students visiting the offices of their members of Congress, as well as the official celebration dinner and Gala, and the announcement of the first-place winners!
Posted in Staff Updates