Students from Valley and Kanab High Schools, their parents, and community members from Valley, Kanab and Page started a weeklong historic tour by catching an early flight out of Las Vegas. The journey had begun! Due to the changing time zones, it was the afternoon when they landed in Baltimore.

The first stop was Fort McHenry, the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner. While learning about our country’s national anthem, the group toured the fort, checked out artifacts, took pictures, and aided in folding a huge flag.

The next few days included tours of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials. A few people found family names on the Memorial Wall, while others enjoyed the Lincoln Monument.

One night included a play at Ford’s Theater, 1776, a hilarious musical of the birth of the Declaration of Independence.

A day was spent at the Smithsonian Museums, which included the Holocaust Museum, Washington Monument, National Archives Building, Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, American Indian Museum, and many others. The group was free to roam the museums as they chose, but there was so much to see! The group later enjoyed a tour of Arlington Cemetery, including the Changing of the Guard.

The next day, the group went to Mt. Vernon and Williamsburg. Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington, was a favorite of many. The estate had beautiful buildings, expansive grounds, large gardens, farm animals, and a breathtaking view of the Potomac River. They also visited Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello.

Another popular place was Luray Caverns, caves filled with colorful stalagmites, stalactites, and an underground organ!

The last stop was another favorite, Gettysburg. There was a tour of the battlefield, visit to the museum, background movie, as well as a presentation at the Cyclorama, a gigantic painting of Pickett’s Charge.

All in all, the students, parents and community members had a blast. They learned about many historical events, and saw many famous sites.

The trip was a success, thanks to Mr. Wood and Jeanie Goulding for organizing the Valley American Heritage Trip, fundraising and making necessary arrangements.

Last, but not least, a big thanks to Gene Drake for making the Washington, D.C. trip possible. He has put a great deal of work into the trip and we couldn’t have done it without him!