Clipper Staff Writer
BOUNTIFUL — Thirteen-year-old BayLa Anderson didn’t know anything about the unknown soldier before her recent visit to Washington D.C.
Anderson, and seven other members of Girl Scout Troop 273 visited the tomb at Arlington National Cemetery on their recent trip to Washington D.C.
While at Arlington, the tomb guards escorted the girls to the tomb where they placed their own wreath and taps was then played.
“All the girls were extremely moved by the beautiful recognition ceremony and very proud that they were a part of the ceremony to honor all those who have sacrificed their lives for our country and our freedom,” said Marcie Downs, one of three leaders who traveled with the girls.
Members of the small troop sponsored by St. Olaf School, raised money for the trip by selling Girl Scout cookies and crafts, Anderson said. Each girl had to pay a $400 airfare, but the rest of the trip was paid for through the troop’s fundraising efforts.
Among sites visited by the girls was the Lincoln Memorial.
“It was very interesting, Anderson said.” “I never thought that so many people would want to see something that big. Still, he was a very important president.”
Also that evening, the girls toured the Washington Monument, the World War I and II memorials and the Vietnam Wall. Among the 58,000 names of those who died or who are missing is Army Sgt. Philip James Krek Jr., a former parishioner of S. Olaf who was killed at age 21 in Vietnam on March 26, 1968. Krek was the third resident of Bountiful to be killed in that war, Downs said.
The girls also walked the National Mall, lined on either side with buildings of the Smithsonian Institute.
Anderson was most impressed by the troop’s visit to the Holocaust Museum.
“I never understood what was meant by the Holocaust,” she said. She will now carry with her the thought that so many people died during World War II so others could live, she said.
The girls visited the National Archives, where they saw the Declaration of Independence, the Consitution the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta.
They also visited the Capitol, where they met Michael Kennedy, Sen. Orrin Hatch’s chief of staff.
Then, a staff member gave them a private tour of of the Capitol, where they saw the House of Representatives and Senate galleries.
They also saw the National Sanctuary Hall Collection, where each state has two statutes of individuals to honor those notable in their history.
“Seeing the nation’s Capitol was great,” Anderson said. “Knowing that’s where the laws are made that we follow was an honor.”
The trip was one Anderson said she’ll never forget.
“I was ready for the experience and sorry we didn’t get to see more,” she said. She plans on returning some day to the nation’s capitol.
The trip also brought the girls of the troop closer together.
“We’re better friends than ever,” she said. She noted that although the troop is sponsored by St. Olaf School, it has members of several faiths, including LDS and Methodist, as well as Catholic.
“We all get along great,” she said.