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Providence Class Seven meets Gov. Rick Perry.

The same week that more than 50,000 Texans signed a petition to secede from the United States—November 7-10—seventh graders at Providence Christian School toured Texas historical sites, which reminded them of the roots of Texans’ independent spirits. From the State Capitol to the Alamo to Gonzales, the students witnessed the pride and self-determination of the Texans who fought for independence.

The class first travelled to Austin where the students toured the Capitol and had the honor of meeting Governor Rick Perry. Governor Perry shook each student’s hand, asked each person’s name, and recited James 4 from the Bible as an example of how the students should live. His encouraging words inspired the students to a greater appreciation for the privilege and responsibility of being a Texan.

The students next walked to the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum. The story of Texas and its strong-willed settlers came to life through exhibits, interactive displays, and the Star of Destiny film. The day ended with Amy’s Ice Cream where student Bryn Barringer caught her ice cream, which was thrown by the daring server.

A tour of the Texas State Cemetery kicked off the second day of the trip. The students learned a number of interesting stories about people who are buried there including the “man who wouldn’t die” who survived being scalped by Indians. A cenotaph for Tom Landry honors him as he desired to be remembered for serving in World War II as well as for coaching the Dallas Cowboys. In addition, El Diablo, the most hated man in baseball, is buried in the cemetery.

The students’ bus headed to San Antonio where they toured the Alamo and recited William Barrett Travis’ famous letter to “the people of Texas and all Americans.” They saw the mission and walked the grounds where brave Texans once fought for independence. Afterward, the group travelled to the Buckhorn Museum where the students enjoyed the optical illusions featured in the Carnival of Curiosities exhibit. The evening included shopping at the Mexican Market (where ukeleles were the most popular purchase), dining with a Mariachi band serenade, and enjoying the historical Riverwalk Cruise.

Day three began with a trip to the old Gonzales County Jail in Gonzales. Students were entertained with ghost tales and the story of “Come and Take It.” The Houston Space Center was next up on the itinerary. Touring included the NASA control room and a real space shuttle. Students’ favorite feature at the Space Center was the simulator where they could smoothly move in all directions.

The final day of the trip included a visit to the San Jacinto Monument, the world’s tallest war memorial, which honors the individuals who fought for Texas’ independence. The students also toured the Battleship Texas, the oldest remaining dreadnaught battle ship.

Walking the historical sites, learning about the pride of Texas’ founders, and seeing the memorials that honor the first, brave Texans, helped the students gain a greater understanding of the independent streak that can be seen in Texans even today.


Cole Johnson is in Class Seven at Providence Christian School.

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