Garden Valley Technologies recently provided Jaden Kiesow and Bayli Dukek with a first-hand look at the telecommunications industry through the FRS Youth Tour to Washington, D.C. The kids visited famous historical sites and attended educational sessions at the nation’s capital. The following are comments from the students about their trip.
“We visited the Arlington National Cemetery where we watched the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I was impressed how precise and dedicated the guards were, even during the rain storm…This was an experience I will never forget and I am very grateful for this opportunity. I would encourage anyone who is able to visit our nation’s capital. We have much to be grateful for. I want to thank Garden Valley Technologies for selecting me to participate in this trip” said Jaden Kiesow.
Bayli Dukek said “Having a blast in D.C.! Yesterday we saw the Arlington National Cemetery, Smithsonian Museums, Lincoln, Korean War, Vietnam War, and WW2 Memorials. The quote, ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain’ comes to mind when I remember walking through the pouring rain to see the monuments…very cold and wet, but just as incredible!”
Garden Valley Technologies sponsored two junior students from the Garden Valley service area to attend the Foundation for Rural Services Youth Tour in Washington, DC. I was chosen by their committee, along with Bayli Dukek from Bagley. To qualify, I wrote a letter of application and described my academic, extracurricular, and personal interests and goals.
We left from the Bemidji Airport at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 2 and arrived at Arlington, Virginia at 2:00 p.m. We checked into our hotel the Hyatt Arlington Crystal City, shopped for a short time and met during dinner to discuss our plans for the trip.
The next day it was pouring rain and there were coastal flood warnings. We visited the Arlington National Cemetery where we watched the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I was impressed how precise and dedicated the guards were, even during the rain storm. There were rows and rows of soldier’s graves. It made a moving impression on me. We also saw President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite and visited Arlington House.
Next we visited the Smithsonian. We first viewed the National Museum of the American Indian. Then we went to National Gallery of Art. There we saw a painting by Leonardo DaVinci. Next went visited the Museum of Natural History and saw the Hope Diamond valued at 250 million dollars. Our next visit was to the National Museum of American History.
That evening we took pictures in front of the White House and took the Washington City Night Tour. The night tour included the White House, WWII, Vietnam and Korean War Memorials and the Lincoln and Washington Monuments. I really thought the Washington Monument was impressive.
On Monday, June 4 we went to the Capitol for a tour and for educational sessions presented by Capitol Hill staff members who spoke on how government processes work . It’s a beautiful building and one we should all be proud of. We also took the tunnels to the Library of Congress. The next stop was the Jefferson Memorial, followed by the Franklin Memorial. That evening we went bowling.
On Tuesday, June 5 we visited the FCC where the staff talked to us about networking and how telecommunications work. Next we visited the Newseum which is a museum of news happenings in America, such as the 911 attacks. There we saw huge wreckage from the NYC Twin Towers. Later, we went by bus to Mount Vernon the home of President George Washington. I also got to see the Washington Family burial crypt. That night we had our farewell dinner and dance and said our goodbyes to the friends we made from all over to country.
I returned to Bemidji on Wednesday about noon and visited with my parents, brother and grandparents over lunch. It felt good to sleep in my own bed again that night.
I was most impressed by the National Monuments, The Capitol Building, the people I met, and friendships made. This was an experience I will never forget and I am very grateful for this opportunity. I would encourage anyone who is able to visit our nation’s capital. We have much to be grateful for.
I want to thank Garden Valley Technologies for selecting me to participate in this trip.