Fifth Grader Shock & Awe

Eric Lamar
2 min readMay 22, 2023

…But Dolly takes the day

Friday night was with fifth graders after they had had a full day of touring. Tired they were but their rockets re-ignited after dinner and dessert.

First stop was the White House and as we walked up Pennsylvania Avenue I took them over to the statue of Lafayette for whom the park is named.

As I pointed to the General, I noticed two of the boys snickering and elbowing — it didn’t take long to see which part of the memorial they were focused on and it wasn’t the guy at the top.

When we were walking down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, one cherubic young fellow remarked that this was “the second best day of my life.”

When asked what the best day was, he said it was the day he visited Dollywood.

OK, then.

They danced a long and feverish congo-line as we transited the Mall and sweetly asked if they could “touch the water” at the WWII Memorial: yes, of course!

To top it all off, I spotted an off-duty Tomb Guard at WWII (he’s hard to miss at 6'9") and asked if he would say hi to the kids as they had visited Arlington Cemetery earlier in the day.

Not only did he say hello, he generously and professionally invited them to ask questions, superbly representing the Third Infantry Regiment in the process.

“Do your feet hurt” and “Do you feel you are being watched even if no one is there” were two of the best.

All in all a fabulous evening with delightful future citizens.