Thursday morning started with an early breakfast so Nancy could get us on the road and headed towards Washington to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Once on the bus, we all enjoyed some quiet time to catch a few zzzz’s for the first hour or so to help prepare us for the busy schedule we have over the next few days. Throughout the morning we had the opportunity to meet with our Issues Analysis Project teams to discuss progress on our projects, identify key action items that need to be completed in the coming months, and ensure we are all on track to complete the projects on time.
Throughout the remainder of the 8-hour drive from Albany, NY, to Washington, DC, we had the opportunity to practice our public speaking skills through some off-the-cuff exercises. Topics ranged from the product/organizational branding we have seen thus far on our trip, to comparisons between Ontario’s AALP program and New York’s LEAD program, to what we have learned from AALP through our 10+ months so far in the program.
After lunch the class crowded to the front of the bus for a great interactive discussion about our 2018 Dream Auction! We brain-stormed possible themes, ideas for decorations and food, live music options and other possibilities for change, improvement and overall success of our 2018 Dream Auction.
Following our lively discussion of the Dream Auction, we took a little time to reflect on the previous day’s excursions and to prepare ourselves for the upcoming stop at the Holocaust Museum.
We arrived at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum around 3:30, leaving us with just under 2 hours to experience this amazing museum. From the moment we walked in, you could feel the significance of what had happened approximately 75-80 years ago. We were each given an ID card as we entered the Museum, which told the story of a real person who lived during the Holocaust. The tour started with photos of the day the camps were liberated and what the conditions were like. From there, it went back to the very beginning and told the story of how it all began in 1933 when Hitler was first elected as Chancellor. With only 2 hours, we did not have the opportunity to see the entire Museum in detail, however what we were able to see moved us all.
After finishing our tour of the Holocaust Museum, we headed for dinner and to meet our tour guide, Kenny, for our Evening Tour of Washington, DC. Kenny was full of “fun facts” throughout our tour, such as Washington being the 2nd-Rudest City when it comes to drivers, and that the White House has 20 black Canadian squirrels living on the grounds.
Our tour started at the Capitol Building, where the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are housed. Another “fun fact” we learned from Kenny is that the flags on either wing of the building signify whether the Senate or the House are in session -- if the flags are flying the House of Representatives and the Senate are in session.
Next we headed to the White House. We had the opportunity to see a small, yet rapidly growing crowd of protestors gathering across the street from the White House. From the White House we travelled down the street a few buildings to the Blair House, which serves as the President's guest house. We then hopped back on the bus to head over to the Jefferson Memorial, followed by the Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial which sits on 7.4 acres of land, making it the largest memorial in the United States. We then walked to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Stone of Hope monument. From there we travelled to the Korean Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall.
This was an amazing day, packed full with many hours both on the bus and on foot, learning about the rich history that is Washington, DC.
We are looking forward to continuing our exploration of Washington, DC, tomorrow!