The Oysterponds Elementary School sixth-grade Washington, D.C., trip has been a tradition for more than 30 years. The sixth-graders go to Washington every May.

We leave our school at 5 a.m., so we pack a pillow. We take the Hampton Jitney. It takes six hours on the bus. We go for three days and sleep in hotel overnight. The goal of the trip is to learn about United States history. At each memorial, we go a wreath-laying to honor people who served our country. We take rubbing samples of the Vietnam Wall. Students have found many people from our community on past trips.

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Every year we take a class picture in front of the White House. One night we head out to Twilight Tattoo, a performance put on by the military. They do a re-enactment of past wars. Then we take pictures with the actors and hold their weapons. We go to the Air and Space Museum. It has more than 6,000 exhibits.

We go to the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech.

The Women in Military Service for America Memorial honors all the women who served in the armed forces.

If you see a man or woman who served our country, your first words should be, “Thank you.”

This is one of the best traditions at our school.