Today has been a very long yet good day. We woke up at 6:15 and had breakfast at our hotel. We left the hotel at 8:00
After arriving at the U.S. Capitol, we walked to our first stop, the Senate Building. We didn’t go inside because the court was in session, but we sat on the front steps and listened to a talk from the Senate Chaplin, Barry Black. He taught us how to apply the message of James 1:5 to our lives. The verse reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” He urged us to pray for God to give us wisdom every day.
Next, our group entered the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center for lunch. After this, we got to walk around the lobby and gift shop. The lobby featured a lot of interesting statues of various people, as well as a full scale replica of the statue of freedom on top of the Capitol.
At 12:00, we went on a tour of the actual Capitol. The first place our tour guide took us to was the crypt. She told us about how under the crypt, there is a tomb that was originally made for George Washington, but he didn’t actually end up buried there.
We then climbed up into the famous rotunda in the center of the Capitol. Our guide talked about the history of the paintings inside as well as the statues. The dome was absolutely gorgeous!
The final place we visited on the tour was the hall of statues, where many of the statues for people in various states in the Capitol are located. We also got to experience the “whisper effect.” Because of the room’s irregular shape, our guide stood on the opposite end of the room, and we could hear her as if she were right next to us.
After we finished at the Capitol, we visited the Library of Congress. The architecture in this building was absolutely astounding. We got to see an overhead view of the reading room (the line to actually get in was way too long since we only had 30 minutes). We also saw Thomas Jefferson’s personal collection of books he’d read and donated to the library.
We boarded the bus after this and drove to the Museum of the Bible. This may have been my favorite part of the day. Our group began at the exhibit featuring the Old Testament Walkthrough. This was an incredible experience that featured many theatrical effects, and it did a great job of summarizing the Old Testament story. We also watched the New Testament movie experience, and we visited the history exhibit. This exhibit was very cool, as it contained a Gutenberg Bible, manuscripts from the Septuagint, and some of the first Luther and Tyndall translations of the Bible.
We then drove to the Marine Corps Memorial and were told the story of how many members of the Marine Corps lost their lives at Iwo Jima. After this, we drove into Virginia and had dinner at Primos.
Our final stop for the day was the Pentagon Memorial, which honors the people who lost their lives on 9/11 when the plane crashed into the Pentagon. This memorial is definitely what stood out to me most about today. Every person who died on the plane and inside the pentagon had their own personal bench. This is another one of those places that just creates a horrible feeling inside, and it’s hard to even grasp.
When we returned to the hotel, it was after 10:00, and we were all exhausted. We all went to bed soon after we returned.