By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
If the level of enthusiasm was any indication, the eight students who recently completed the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge (FFVF) trip sponsored by the Chase County chapter had a great time.
Not only that, the students were eager to share the information they gathered on the trip with those attending a dessert meeting in their honor Monday night.
The trip is a way to teach high school students in Chase County about American patriotism and history.
The students and their sponsors first attended a seminar at the FFVF national campus overlooking Valley Forge outside of Philadelphia.
They participated in a mock Congressional session in which they “gained an appreciation for the lawmaking process,” according to Korey Krutsinger.
They also had conversations with actors portraying Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, learning how compromises are reached.
An entrepreneur workshop allowed the students to design a product and sell it—in the students’ case, “hat tunes,” sort of like a blue tooth hat, as one student explained.
In Philadelphia the students were impressed with Benjamin Franklin’s newspaper printing press.
It took four people 40 hours to set the type for the Declaration of Independence. Each copy was then printed by hand, one at a time.
It really impressed the students that copies of the Declaration were sent out by horseback to the 13 colonies the morning after it was signed.
Part of the FFVF trip centered in Washington, D.C., where the students visited the Holocaust Museum, the Old Post Office, the Pentagon, the National Archives, the Capitol, Ford Theater and monuments such as the World War II memorial.
They met with Sen. Mike Johanns, as student Dan Sullivan’s cousin is affiliated with the senator’s office.
Several students said Arlington National Cemetery was the place that impacted them the most.
Ryan Moline said not only did they view a changing of the guard, but the changing of the garland during a funeral service for a veteran.
“It was extremely touching,” Jeff Dickey said of Arlington. “It was amazing how many people died for our country.”
Emma Mollendor said, “I have no words for it. There is a section dedicated to unidentified soldiers. There were so many of them.”
Sponsors Jeff and Diane Kuenne instructed the students on riding the Metro and eating seafood.
“This community can rest assured that our future is in great hands,” Dianne Kuenne told about 40 people attending the dessert meeting at Lied Imperial Public Library.
She said the students were complimented on their behavior by strangers and other students at the FFVF campus.