On Thursday, June 9, a group of kids from Jackson County known as the Jackson County Lamplighters took a historic journey to Washington, DC. While there, they had the opportunity to go on a tour of the White House. Leaving late Wednesday night from the law office of their mentor, LaDray Gilbert, the Lamplighters were treated to a police escort to the city limits of Marianna. Chief Hayes Baggett agreed to the escort as a showing of support for what the kids were endeavoring to do. From Marianna, the caravan of four cars headed to Harstfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.
Once the plane was boarded in Atlanta, the next stop was BWI Airport in Baltimore, Maryland and onto the MARC Train rail system. For most of the boys, that was their first time flying and riding a train. After passing through the famous Union Station in DC, the Lamplighters were off to the National Mall for a view of some of our country’s most break taking visuals. While walking around, they visited the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, MLK Memorial, and the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam War Memorials. After a day of walking and site seeing, the Lamplighters prepared for the big tour the next day.
On June 10, the Jackson County Lamplighters became the first chapter of Omega Lamplighters to tour the White House. The tour, lasting a little over an hour was filled with historic relics, wonderfully decorated rooms, and original trinkets owned by former Commanders in Chiefs of our nation. Each young man dressed in a black suit and purple tie and the group was continually lauded for their appearance. While on the tour, Gilbert took time and explained a lot of what they boys were seeing. The boys took their time as they walked through the pristine residence and took plenty of pictures. A follow up trip is already being planned.
Though the DC trip was a major accomplishment, it won’t be the only trip the boys will be going on this year. On July 28, the boys will be going on their annual 500 Miles to Freedom Trip. The trip will include stops in St. Louis, Missouri; Nashville, Tennessee; and Montgomery, Alabama.