Opinion: A lesson on our real national treasure

Kaylee Remington

I haven’t really done much this summer except work. I didn’t plan any big vacations because frankly I don’t have the money to go on “summer” break. But my friend Melisa and I decided to do something different and go to Washington D.C. to visit our friend Brady who’s there for his internship. When I thought of a mini vacation, I didn’t think of Panama, Virginia Beach or Miami. I wanted something I knew I would get a great lesson out of it. And 21 years later, I finally landed at our nation’s capitol.

This past weekend was a memory I will always look back on. I remember being in seventh grade and our D.C. trip was canceled because of Sept. 11. Instead, we settled for a trip down to Southern Ohio. I was upset because I appreciate U.S. history. And what better place to learn about it than D.C.? When I went this past weekend, I took all the pictures I could. The Capitol Building awed me, I smiled when I approached the Lincoln Memorial, and I stared at the 234-year-old Constitution while thinking how amazing it is that it’s laying in front of me. I couldn’t believe it. And even though it was 110 degrees and I couldn’t control my sweaty face, I enjoyed every minute of it.

I’d like to share some of the things I learned while in D.C. this weekend:

• The White House was being built while George Washington was in office, so he never lived there.

• There is a handprint in the bottom left corner of the Declaration of Independence. No one knows how it got there.

• John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln’s bodies were stored in the East Room of the White House.

• The statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln memorial shows two sides of him. If you’re looking straight at him, the left side shows him relaxed with no wrinkles on his face and a relaxed hand. On the right side, he’s stressed with his hand in a fist and a more tightened and wrinkled face.

• The Department of Agriculture building, which actually consists of two buildings, is not open to the public.

• If you look at the bottom of the Constitution, it looks like things were erased and rewritten.

I wasn’t the only one thinking D.C. this weekend. The Boy Scouts of America swarmed D.C. to honor their 100th anniversary by walking through the city. But in all seriousness, every day in D.C. is a celebration. Whether you’re a boy scout, a marine, a veteran, or an American citizen, there’s a reason for you to visit your capitol. It was all built for you and you should be proud to visit and see the stories of those before us. Plan a trip. Go learn the history of your country and let me know if I missed anything.

Kaylee Remington is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].