Everett 8th graders have to make government shutdown lemonadeon October 4, 2013 @ 5:27 am (Updated: 7:39 am - 10/4/13 )
Three dozen Everett 8th graders are learning a very important civics lesson this week as their trip to Washington D.C. is being messed up by the government shutdown.
Earlier this week, we heard how these kids saved up their money and held fundraisers to pay for this annual 8th grade trip at St. Mary Magdalen School in Everett.
Their itinerary is out the window because of the government shutdown.
Day One wasn't too bad. The kids were in Jamestown, Virginia, for the most of the day, but their visit to the Pentagon and the Lincoln Memorial were scrapped.
"Literally hour by hour our scheduled has changed," parent Andrea Szalda said. "At this point, anything that we do here is going to be valuable to them, and they'll walk away with something from it."
Szalda's daughter Allisa is one of the 8th graders on this trip. She said everyone is upbeat, despite the disappointment on missing out on experiences like the Smithsonian and the Capitol.
"The kids have a great attitude," she said. "They don't exactly understand everything that's going on, but they're trying to make the best of it."
The group pulled a page from the World War II vets this week and walked by barricades at the Vietnam and Korean memorials Thursday.
"We did actually pass through the gates to take them through those memorials," Szalda said. "We had a tour guide and kind of went with the flow."
Szalda said they saw the other memorials and monuments from a distance, but it wasn't the same.
"You know we were so close we could touch it, but you can't go and experience it," she said. "That is so frustrating. That's the really difficult part of this."
But she said experiencing this shutdown first-hand has given them all a life lesson they were never expecting.
"It opens up a whole new dialogue for us with our children," Szalda said. "They do have questions. They want to know why this is happening and it's complicated. I guarantee you that parents on this trip are not all on the same page. We all have our own feelings about it. We're respectful of each others' feelings."
They will watch the changing of the guard at the Arlington National Cemetery Friday. They'll still get to Mount Vernon and the National Cathedral.
"They really don't yet know what they're missing, but it's a lot," Szalda said. "This city's huge and amazing, and there's so much history here, and they can't get close to it. It's a shame."
The kids return on Sunday. They'll have great stories to tell, a lifetime of memories and a better understanding that life sometimes throws you curve balls.
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