By Grace Doerfler – 10th Grade, Oakland Catholic High School
During a recent visit to Washington, D.C., my dad and I decided to bike to Mt. Vernon for an afternoon. There’s a beautiful 18-mile trail that leads all the way to from D.C. to George Washington’s historic home—the perfect project for a balmy spring day. Coasting along the trail, the Potomac River on my left and foliage blooming on all sides, I imagined Washington taking a similar journey centuries ago. I pictured bicycles replaced with horses, the trail rough rather than paved. D.C. was far behind when at last we wove our way up a winding path to the estate itself. Suddenly the trees broke and revealed a beautifully situated mansion overlooking the blue expanse of the Potomac. Life as Washington had known it was right before my eyes. I was buffeted through the house by a throng of eager visitors. As flocks of people bustled through the dim rooms, I was struck by the contrast between the stately eighteenth-century home and the twenty-first-century, T-shirt-clad tourists. What changes the country has undergone since Washington lived in these rooms! I wonder what he would think about the nation today. With America in the thick of the 2016 presidential elections, how would the first President feel about the candidates vying to be the forty-fifth? When Washington held office, women didn’t even have the right to vote. This election, one of the front runners is female. The country has changed so much that George Washington would undoubtedly be surprised by the nation he founded if he could see it today. When I visited Mt. Vernon, I stepped back in time for a moment. Catching a glimpse of America as Washington knew it, I couldn’t help but wonder how Washington would feel about the U.S. today.
Grace Doerfler is a sophomore at Oakland Catholic High School who lives in West View. In her spare time, she enjoys running cross-country, playing the oboe, and baking.