History Buff? Check Out Washington, D.C.!

Posted on Friday, Dec 08, 2017

Remember being a kid and looking through your social studies or history text book and seeing pictures of thing such as: The White House, Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol Building? I remember looking at those pictures and wishing for the opportunity to, one day, go and visit places like that. I have always had an interest and passion in history; especially American history and being able to visit places such as Washington, D.C. was nothing but a dream because I was 2,000 miles away. So it comes to no surprise that I took advantage of the opportunity to LIVE in Washington, D.C. if only for a few months.

My name is Luis Arauz and I am currently going to wrap up my first semester of my senior year at Texas A&M as an Urban and Regional Planning Major. As a student at Texas A&M University, I am committing to making the best out of my experience here and all the experiences I encounter in my life. As a person I want to be the best I can be at anything I do. As an Aggie I know I am held to a high standard of ethics and character because of all those Aggies that have set the bar so high before me. I consider myself very lucky to have been considered and accepted into the Texas A&M faction of the Public Policy Internship Program (PPIP) and been sent to intern in our nation’s capital. My major requires I intern for a semester and encourage to do it away from campus so when I heard about this opportunity I took it! It was a good deal! Between PPIP and the Peace Corps (where I interned) I had my housing and transit paid for.

The biggest reason I chose to come to D.C. was for the history. Big history nerd here. Being the capital of the United States of America, Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas are absolutely rich in history because of their roles and placements in this country. So many things have happened here and so many house-hold names have walked the same streets I walked in my time here. Laws and policies of America have been debated and passed here. It’s pretty crazy to think Abraham Lincoln took his morning strolls in the same places where I do. What was great about this experience is that I was not just some tourist trying to cram in as many sight and museum visits into a long weekend. I was here for a semester which gave me more time to visit many different places at a pace suitable enough to not just visit these areas, but really experience and appreciate them and the historical significance that comes with them.

I’ve taken almost all the free time I have here and used it to experience and appreciate something historical about this city and the surrounding areas. I will not account everything here because it would be too long for a blog, instead I will talk about how it feels to be surrounded by history. Its one thing to read about significant events or people, but it’s something completely different actually being there where those historical figures lived and where those historical events took place. I become star-struck when I stand at the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. I get goosebumps when I walk into the house of Mt. Vernon where George Washington lived. I feel an indescribable appreciation for those who sacrificed to form this country to what it is today when I stand on the fields of Gettysburg where thousands died for the freedom of others and for the preservation of this country. All these feelings accumulate to a certain sense of duty. A duty to learn from those whom are no longer here in order to become a better person of character and to make the world a better place for those whom will be here long after I am no longer here.

Luis Arauz
Peace Corps
Washington, D.C. | fall 2017