KNOXVILLE — There are 48 Knoxville Middle School eighth grade students anxiously awaiting this weekend, when they will have the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C.
The students and chaperones leave Thursday morning. Among their first stops upon arrival in D.C. will be the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.
On Friday, April 6, the students will visit Arlington National Cemetery. There, four students will have the opportunity to lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. From there, they will tour the Capitol and the Holocaust Museum.
Ben Overman, trip organizer, says the Holocaust Museum is one of the sights the children are most eager to see. They recently finished reading "The Diary of Anne Frank" in class.
"It's a very powerful museum," Overman said.
The group will travel to Gettysburg, Pa., on Saturday, April 7. This will have added significance, as the students will begin a unit on the Civil War when they return to Knoxville. Finally, on Sunday, the students will have the opportunity to visit Mount Vernon and Ford's Theater.
This trip is taken annually. This year is the first time students will be able to visit the completed Martin Luther King Memorial.
"A lot of (the students) have been counting down all year," Overman said.
Excitement for the trip builds for the students, as well as himself. Freshmen who went on the trip last year have shared their experiences with this year's group to help build excitement. Overman himself begins to count down to the trip on the Sunday he returns to Knoxville.
"I look forward to the next year when we get back," Overman said.