Mount Union Students Attend Multicultural Retreat in Washington DC
March 19, 2008
“I never dreamed that I would be here when I was a boy on a farm down in Southwest Stark County milking cows,” Republican Ohio Congressman Ralph Regula said to the Mount Union students touring the capital building while on the multicultural retreat in Washington D.C. during the College’s spring break last week.
Regula, a 1948 Mount Union alumnus and long-time member of the Board of Trustees, spoke to students on the necessity to get involved in public service. He said when he retires after his 18th consecutive congressional term, he wants to speak to political science students about what the political world was really like.
The 19 Mount Union students who attended the multicultural retreat traveled to Washington D.C. by train. The retreat was organized by Randy Clark, assistant professor of communication, and Dawn Adams, assistant director of international student services.
The five-day trip to the nation’s capital included a tour of the capital by members of Regula’s staff and a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony.
The ceremony was performed by Shinya Shiozaki, a junior middle childhood education major of Nishinoomote-shi, Japan; Michael Mullally, a junior political science major of Garfield Heights; Stephanie Dominick, a sophomore English major of Massillon; and Kelsey Jones, a sophomore psychology major of Harmony, Pennsylvania.
“Just being one of the few Americans who gets to be that close to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and knowing the ceremony honored the soldiers who gave their lives for this country was the best part,” said Jones.
Students had the opportunity to tour the District of Columbia and the surrounding areas. The group purchased week passes for the Metro rail system, D.C.’s subway system, to get from place to place.
Students visited many sites including the National Holocaust Museum, branches of the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, Georgetown, the National Mall, the White House, Ford’s Theatre, Chinatown, Arlington National Cemetery and many others.
“When I visited the Holocaust museum, I almost cried when I watched the videos and some stops in the museum,” said Ahn Ngo, a sophomore accounting major of Hanoi, Vietnam.
The visit was a new experience for everyone. Shiozaki, who is blind, had several tours set up for specifically him so he would be able to better experience also D.C. has to offer. The guides at the national zoo and the holocaust museum had fur and used several models which allowed Shiozaki to learn about the museum and the animals.
Some students saw home in D.C. “When I visited Georgetown, I was so surprised it’s really like Hanoi,” said Ngo.
To Jones, the Vietnam Memorial hit home the most. “As much as we read about it in books, it’s impossible to understand the number of men who were forced to lay down their lives for our country until you are standing in front of the memorial reading the names.”