“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.”
Francis Bacon, Sr.
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to take 19 of my students to Dallas for one of our national Cluster Meetings. I have taken kids to these meetings every year for the past 20+ years to destinations all over the midwest. This trip, in a big yellow schoolbus no less, was one of the best! The speakers were great and the kids were awesome too. On the way down we stopped for a break at the Oklahoma City National Memorial which was created to honor those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Rows of chairs are arranged next to the pool that defines the footprint of the destroyed building according to the location of those who died when the explosion occurred. Larger chairs represent adults and the smaller chairs are in honor of the children who died, most of whom were in daycare on the first floor of the building. If you’ve never been there, it is definitely worth the stop.
While in Dallas we also visited the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza that chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. It sent chills up my spine to stand near the very spot that the assassin assumed when he took aim at our president so many years ago. We were there on the 45th Anniversary to the day of the event that caused those who were alive at the time to remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the dreadful news. Again, the kids who were with me could easily grasp the significance of what they were seeing and appreciated the chance to be there.
Our meeting was great too. One of the best speakers was a man named Ben Glenn whom I have heard several times before. He has a great message and also entertains with a zany sense of humor. His presentation always starts out with the creation right before your eyes of a magnificent chalk drawing.
We were surprised to see a piece of the Berlin Wall at the hotel were our meeting was held. As we walked by it, an exchange student from Germany who was along on the trip with us, recognized it! I think he was surprised to see, literally, a piece of his homeland right there in Dallas.
And what would a trip to Dallas be without a stop at a mall. I drove the bus to the Galleria Mall, complete with an ice skating rink and the biggest Christmas tree you’ll probably ever see. By Sunday, we were ready to head for home and started the trek back north. I think everyone who was along on the trip had truly been dazzled by Dallas!