Three Catholic schools enjoy trip to Gettysburg, Washington, D.C. Print
Written by Sherry Harms, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, May. 23, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

Students in D.C.
Students from three Catholic schools in the Diocese of Madison, left, pose for a picture on the steps of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. (Contributed photo)

On Sunday, May 5, students from Watertown Catholic, Blessed Sacrament School in Madison, and St. Jerome School in Columbus boarded a bus bound for a five-day trip to Gettysburg, Pa., and Washington, D.C.

It was an adventure of a lifetime, and a great way to cap an almost 10-year career for some students at our schools.

After 16 travel hours, we arrived in Gettysburg. What a sight it was to see! Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania allowed us to visit the Civil War battlefield with a very informative guide who showed us different sites that told the story of the soldiers from so many years ago.

We were standing on soil that killed more men than any other battle in America. These grounds pay silent tribute to this sacrifice. We ended our tour with a movie narrated by Morgan Freeman that gave us the history of the battlefield.

Following the film, we experienced the Gettysburg Cyclorama, the 1884 painting that depicts "Pickett's Charge."

Throughout the next several days, we toured several of the Smithsonian museums including: the Air and Space Museum, American History Museum, and the National Zoo. At the National Zoo, we were able to see the panda bears.

We also toured George Washington's Mount Vernon, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Library of Congress. The presidential memorials and the war memorials were spectacular to see, especially at night!

Arlington National Cemetery was a very moving experience. Our students visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Kennedy memorials, and other sites along the way. Our students had a close viewing of the Changing of the Guard. We even saw two deer walking among the rows of tombstones!

Fr. Garrett Kau from St. Jerome Parish prayed with us as we ended our time there. Walking on sacred ground is such an amazing experience.

We were blessed to be able to visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the day we left for Wisconsin. All three schools celebrated Mass with Fr. Pat Wendler, Watertown pastor, in one of the side chapels at the Shrine. It was a beautiful way to end such a great trip!