Article Written by Tyler Hollom. Photo by Tyler Hollom. 

A pack of our St. Cloud State University huskies traveled over a thousand miles earlier this week for an annual trip to Washington D.C. An early morning that started with a shuttle to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was all worth it, ending with a tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the U.S. Capital.

SCSU professor of Business Communication, Interim Director at the Center of Holocaust and Genocide Education, and group leader, Emil Towner counted 24 SCSU students. With students from other colleges, teachers, and military members there was a total of nearly 150 travelers.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) has brought thousands of Minnesotans to Washington D.C. since beginning this annual event in 1996.

Head organizer Susie Greenberg says the philosophy of this trip is that “one day can make a difference” in understanding the Holocaust and preventing antisemitism.

After landing at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport the SCSU students took a bus to the USHMM. On the way they caught views of the Potomac River and Washington Monument.

Speaker Brent Novoselsky, former Vikings player and donator to the USHMM, said, “It’s tough, but it needs to be seen, it needs to be taken in, and it needs to be shared.”

After the speeches, the audience was free to begin seeing the museum and its many solemn displays. Hundreds of photos, documents, and artifacts were on display detailing the rise of Nazism, the Holocaust, and the aftermath of the war on the Jewish community.

One impactful display was a train car open for visitors to enter, which was used to transport victims of the Holocaust to concentration camps.

After the museum, students were free to explore the capital.

Within a two-mile radius of the USHMM sits dozens of iconic monuments, memorials, and museums, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the White House, U.S. Capitol, and Smithsonian Museum. It was a sunny, lightly cloudy, breezy day- perfect for walking alongside the famous Reflecting Pool and enjoying an ice cream served from the seemingly endless fleet of food trucks parked on the roads around the capital.

This annual trip is open for anyone to register. If interested, one can visit the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and Dakotas website where they post information about their D.C. day trip every year.

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