Although a beautiful, exciting, and inspiring trip, nothing beats the first step back home, accompanied by the smell of the ocean, and a “welcome home” from your family. I would like to give special thanks to all of the people who helped make this trip possible, including, but not limited to, my scoutmaster, Mr. Mitzel, Mr. Faverzani, who helped organize our crazy schedule, Mr. Kamph, who made sure every aspect of our plan was perfect, and Mr. Endicott, who made sure that all of us kids had a fun and safe time. I would also like to give thanks to all of the scout parents who helped transport and ensure the security of the scouts throughout the major city that is Washington D.C. Finally, thanks to you, the reader, for taking the time to share this experience with me.Editor’s Note: Ian Crowley is an Ocean City resident, a seventh-grade student at the Intermediate School, a Boy Scout and a valued regular contributor to OCNJDaily.com. Posted by Dean William Mitzel on Sunday, October 21, 2018 The rear of the White House, United States flag whipping proudly in the wind. By Ian CrowleyLast weekend, Ocean City Troop 32 and I toured the District of Columbia, visiting iconic sites such as the White House, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and dedications for many other historical figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Ocean City Troop 32 made a trip to D.C. from Friday, October 19th to Sunday, October 21st.This bust of Abraham Lincoln’s face was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, which was carved directly into stone, without a plaster cast. It sits in the crypt of George Washington, along with one statue from each state. The 13 former colonies were instructed to have ‘someone who influenced America greatly’ sculpted. Only one person was not a government official, Dr. Crawford W. Long, who was the first doctor to use modern anesthetic.At four in the morning, I heard the chime of my alarm and proceeded to roll out of bed. With a giant yawn and a longing for more sleep, I headed off towards Wawa. As entered the store, I saw multiple other scouts, all as sleepy as myself. A couple of bites of food and some lugging of bags was sure to wake me up though, and as I started to open my eyes fully, we were off.Shown here is the first purpose-built structure, the Capitol Building, designed for the Congress and Legislative Branch of the U.S. Government. Initially the center of the four quadrants of D.C., the addition of new land offset it. The Statue of Freedom, which is perched at the summit of the dome, is under construction due to weathering.An hour or two of catch-up sleep was nice, and some music, along with jokes, made the journey as quick as one of a three-hour nature could be. Our first stop was the Capitol Building. As we toured, we saw statues from different colonies, a Senate chamber from before Tennesse was a state, and the empty tomb of George Washington.Seen here is the cast-iron dome of the Capitol Building. Painted in it is George Washington, who is ascending to the heavens, along with many maidens. 13 of the maidens have halos above their heads, representing the 13 original colonies. Many have their backs turned, as to render the states who seceded during the time of the painting. Many of the painted are representative of a national concept. Moving clockwise from below Washington, they display War, Science, Marine, Commerce, Mechanics, and Agriculture.Our tour guide shared exciting stories, such as one about the elliptical ceiling of the Senate room. She mentioned that after the chamber was no longer in use, architects and visitors noticed the deflection of sound off of the roof. To demonstrate, she walked about sixty feet away, then whispered at the ceiling. It sounded like she was talking directly in front of us, and evoked many ‘wow’s from the crowd.“Coming Through The Rye,” by Frederic Remington. Inspired by the designer’s work, this casting is made mainly out of bronze.Next was the tomb of the first president. If you’re into trivia, you may know that President Washington is buried in Mount Vernon, Virginia. So, why was a tomb built for him then? William Thornton, the first architect of the capitol, took much inspiration from Rome. One of these cues was a grand tomb for kings, so Thornton went about building one. However, when Thornton presented the monument to George, he did not accept the offer. George said that he was no king, and because of such shall not be buried in the crypt. President Washington later died of epiglottitis and hypovolemic shock and was buried with his wife at his home in Mount Vernon.In this picture, I am standing behind the White House waiting for the other Scouts.Next, we toured the White House. Although I won’t go into details about security, it was undoubtedly as tight as you would expect it to be. A self-guided tour, you can see pictures below of some of the great rooms and fixtures of the White House. Although a grand and historical place, it was surprisingly less large than it appears, even though it’s around 55,000 square feet of space.“Vermeil Room” – “Once a billiard room, this room contains a collection of European and American gilded silver (vermeil) objects, c. 1700-1950. Portraits of recent first ladies are displayed here.”Afterward, everyone posed for a quick photo outside of the White House, we were again on our way, this time towards the Air and Space Museum.The next day, we toured Arlington National Cemetary in Virginia. A respectful, solemn sight, we saw graves for all soldiers, from ensign to general, and then the changing of the guard, which is linked below. If you were to pass away while an active duty servicemember, you and your spouse have automatic rights to be buried in Arlington, whose hallowed grounds we were sure to respect, conducting ourselves with the utmost reverence as to not disturb the spirits who rest there eternally.Troop 32 group picture (Photo Cedit: Scoutmaster Dean Mitzel)Whether named or not, the sentinels protect the tombs vigilantly; the grave guarded every hour of the day since 1937. Through blizzard, hurricane, rain, or blistering heat, the sentinels of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment guard the sepulchers and gravestones every minute. To most’s surprise, the respected routine of the changing of the guard doesn’t stop when all of the visitors have departed. In fact, there’s a genuine chance that a changing of the guard ceremony is occurring as you read this.