42 Valdosta middle schoolers are making their way back to south Georgia Thursday night after a five day trip to the nation's capital. But because of the government shutdown, it wasn't the trip the kids hoped for.
These 42 Valdosta Early College Academy students haven't gotten the annual 8th grade DC field trip they expected. Omar McGlamery's son Quin is there and says pictures from his trip make it look all too surreal. With the District looking like a ghost town, they're now experiencing another side of our nation's capital.
"We are disappointed but they are learning a lesson on the other side of how things work, when they don't work," said McGlamery.
The tour guide company had to make major changes to VECA's itinerary because many museums, parks, and memorials have shut down.
"A lot of the students and one of the teachers are always excited about going to the Gettysburg Battlefield every year and they weren't able to do that," said McGlamery.
Earlier in the week other memorials were added into the itinerary in the anticipation that they would close if the government shut down.
"You have 42 8th graders together, you know that they're going to have a good time regardless of where they are. So, no, not necessarily worried; we're just thankful that they're able to experience the trip," said VECA Assistant Principal, Dr. Mae McKinney.
McGlamery says he just can't wait to get his son safely back home tonight. "A good portion of the government is shut down is a little daunting when its his first time being away from his family for that long."
But it's a trip they'll never forget, and a story they'll come back to tell to other VECA kids waiting to go next year.
The students were able to make it to the Vietnam and Korean War Veterans Memorials and the Lincoln Memorial before the government shut down Tuesday.