Our history trips are all about bringing history to life for students and over the years, we’ve got to know the historical monuments and sites that engage students, provoke insightful historical discussion and stir emotion. To mark International Day for Monuments and Sites, we asked some members of the Rayburn Education Tours team to share their top recommended visits for history students…
Educational Tours Manager
- National September 11 Memorial, New York
For me, it is the National September 11 Memorial. The memorial is huge, taking up 8 of the 16 acres of the site of where the two towers were and you get to appreciate the overwhelming scale of the disaster and how much it has changed the landscape and skyline of New York. The thousands of names around the edge are very sobering and there is something very eerie about how quiet it is in the centre of such a bustling city, as everyone takes a moment to reflect on what happened and everyone who died. Entering the museum is also a sobering experience as you enter what would have been the towers’ lobby and foundations and learn the personal stories of those affected by the terrorist attacks of 2001.
Educational Tours Operations Manager
- The National Mall, Washington DC
The National Mall in Washington DC is one of my favourites – it has so many monuments to remember America’s rich history. There are many iconic ones, such as the Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial and World War II Memorial to name just a few.
My personal favourite is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, 32nd President of the United States because it is very cleverly done. It is not a traditional monument but is set out in four open air “rooms” that represent Roosevelt’s life and career. The layout is designed with accessibility in mind, which is symbolic of the man who refused to let his disability stop him.
Educational Tours Co-ordinator
- St Julien’s Memorial, Langemark, Belgium
St Julien’s Memorial at Vancouver Crossroads, Langemark in Belgium left a lasting impression on me. This Canadian memorial, also known as the brooding soldier, commemorates the Canadian 1st Division in action on 22 to 24 April 1915 after the German Army launched the first ever large-scale gas attack. When you get to it, you don’t realise how huge the memorial is; it is like the soldier is looking over you. It’s such a poignant statue and it makes you realise the huge sacrifice that the Canadians made in holding their position.
Laura Arufe Perez
Concerts and Educational Tours Sales Manager
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin
I would encourage anyone to visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin. It is so striking and eye-catching and is very thought-provoking. It’s the first thing that I think of when I think of Berlin.