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Laguna Blanca Students Headed to D.C. for Obama’s Inauguration

More than two dozen local youths prepare to embark on the experience of a lifetime.

Twenty-eight students in Laguna Blanca‘s Upper School will embrace an opportunity of a lifetime this month as they visit Washington, D.C., to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama on Jan. 20.

The trip’s itinerary was arranged by Laguna history instructor Martha Elliott through WorldStrides, an educational student travel company. For many Laguna students, it will be their first visit to the nation’s capital.

The itinerary begins Jan. 18, when Elliott, student adviser Dana White and 28 Laguna students see national landmarks such as the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, the Holocaust Museum, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Washington Monument and the National Gallery of Art.

In the evening, the students will attend an inauguration dance, sponsored by WorldStrides, for all of the high school students visiting to witness Obama’s inauguration.

The next day, Laguna students will visit Mount Vernon, the White House, the National Archive, Capitol Hill, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Einstein Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

“We’ll have to get up at 4:30 on Tuesday morning,” Elliott said, “because we have to go through security by 5:30 or 6 a.m. for the swearing-in, which begins at 10:30. Obama will be sworn in at noon.”

The group will attend the parade to follow. On Jan. 21, the students will take in more sights, including Arlington National Cemetery, where they will watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and see the Kennedy gravesites. They’ll also visit the Challenger Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial and the U.S. Air Force Memorial.

The group will leave for home early that evening and get back to Laguna about 2 a.m., with many memories to share with their families and classmates.

“This is certainly an historic event,” Elliott says. “Just being there to watch with 4 million Americans is a chance in a lifetime. It’s something we’ll tell our grandchildren about.”

Tara Broucqsault is public relations director at Laguna Blanca School.

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