The Lions take to Washington

Written on 05/08/2023
Nickita Zinkovsky '26

Farrell students take in a two-day experience in the nation's capital

Pictured above: Monsignor Farrell students pose for a photo in front of the White House.

On April 20, 78 Farrell men made their way to Washington D.C. in a ground-breaking, first-of-its kind trip for Monsignor Farrell High School. Over the course of two days, Farrell students got the opportunity to explore the government buildings of Washington, D.C. and even meet a few government officials.

The trip was made in conjunction with several on-campus organizations, including the Monsignor Farrell Institute for Law and Public Policy, the Leadership Institute, Hearing Our Heroes and Student Government.

After a four-hour ride on two coach buses, the students landed on the grounds of Washington, D.C. The students met up with their long-term guide and coin-certified Mulier Fidelis, Amanda Manfredi, who led them to the Thomas Jefferson Library of Congress.

Pictured above: Farrell students got to explore the U.S. Capitol as part of their trip to Washington, D.C. in April.

The Library of Congress is still an active site used by some authorized members of the public as well as government officials, though a section of it has branched out to be a museum. The interior of the library is made of granite and contains not only Thomas Jefferson’s actual book collection, but also the Gutenberg Bible, one of the first bibles to be printed.

Our Farrell men then made their way past the Supreme Court building and towards the U.S. Capitol. They walked up to an area that is usually restricted to the public and took a seat on the stairs of the Capitol to wait for New York Senator Charles Schumer, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

This whole trip would not have been possible without Senator Schumer, and we are all very thankful for the opportunity he has given us. When Senator Schumer was finally able to catch a break and put off his many meetings, he came out to greet our Farrell Men and took a picture that will now forever be a new milestone for our great school.

Pictured above: During their visit to Washington, D.C., Farrell students got the chance to interact with New York Senator Charles Schumer, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

The students then made their way to the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, where they were taken on a tour. They were shown a video of how the U.S. Capitol came to be and were then taken around the Capitol itself.

They explored the National Statuary Hall, a big room filled with statues of all the prominent Americans from throughout history; The Capitol Dome, the big dome on top of the U.S. Capitol that was also filled with statues and paintings of people and events that led to the creation of our great country; and even got to pass by the living chambers of the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.

After leaving the U.S. Capitol and passing by the Supreme Court again, and a brief dinner, the group took an informative tour of Washington D.C. on wheels. They passed by the private estate of the Vice President, as well as many embassies. The tour made its first stop at Lafayette Park, a square park found in front of the White House. While the group did not get to see President Biden, they still made some wonderful memories in front of the White House and moved on with the tour.

The next stop on the tour was the Abraham Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The sights were beautiful: the capitol, Lights, and Washington monument reflected off of the Lincoln Monument Reflecting Pool to create a peaceful, luminous, and elegant picture. They then visited the Korean War Veterans Monument and paid respects before boarding the bus, dropping off the tour guides, and retiring for the night in the hotel.

Pictured above: Students took in sights such as the Lincoln Memorial during their stay in Washington, D.C.

The next day’s first stop was the port at the Wharf, a recreational waterfront, to set sail to Mount Vernon: the location of George Washington’s tomb and house. After a comfortable hour-long boat ride along the Potomac River, the group disembarked and walked up the hill to George Washington’s tomb.

A small one-room structure that contained two tombs inside behind a fence, those two tombs belonged to George Washington and his wife, Martha. Going further, the students observed small houses of farmers that worked for Washington, storage houses, stables, kitchen houses with room-fridges, and many other buildings that were complemented by an expansive and beautiful garden and field.

The biggest house on the property, though, was Washington’s house. Inside, there were many colorful rooms including (but not limited to) dining rooms, a living room, George Washington's office, George Washington's bedroom, many other bedrooms, a room containing Washington's deathbed, Lafayette’s bedroom, and back patio with a view over the river and expansive hills. Each room was colorful and was shining with personality.

As our Farrell men left the house, they passed through Washington’s expansive gardens and through the gift shop before boarding the bus and setting out for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Highlights from the museum included a fossil exhibit, which featured many fossils and skeletons of ancient animals; an insect exhibit, which featured displays of live insects in their natural environments (this exhibit also included a real butterfly pavilion); A crystal exhibit, which featured many dazzling crystals, as well as many pieces of historical jewelry.

One of these is the rumored-to-be-cursed Hope Diamond, a large and beautiful dark-blue diamond necklace which seems to bring horrible and gruesome fortune to any person who possesses it. Fun Fact: Marie Antoinette owned this necklace and look where that got her!

Pictured above: Students got the opportunity to explore the Library of Congress.

There were some more exhibits including an ocean life exhibit, an ancient Egypt exhibit, a human origin exhibit, and many more.

This trip was a true milestone for our school, a breakthrough for our new Institute of Law and Public Policy, a successful experiment for the faculty and a great experience for the Vir Fidelis of Monsignor Farrell High School.