Church group explores America’s heritage

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The CLCC group laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photos by Pat Van Dyke

The CLCC group laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Photos by Pat Van Dyke

Over nine days, a group of 54 adventurers recently experienced three flights, nine states, one district (D.C.), 1,420 miles on a Prevost coach bus and 133,000 steps (72.6 miles) to discover America’s history and learn about the faith of its Founding Fathers.

Pat Van Dyke stands in Registry Hall at Ellis Island, where her grandmother, at age 16, along with Pat’s great-grandparents, entered the United States. Photos by Pat Van Dyke

Pat Van Dyke stands in Registry Hall at Ellis Island, where her grandmother, at age 16, along with Pat’s great-grandparents, entered the United States. Photos by Pat Van Dyke

That’s how Pat Van Dyke describes a trip she and Pastor Pete Van Dyke took from June 20 to 28 while leading a group of members and friends from Canyon Lake Community Church. The group toured with World Strides/Christian Discoveries to explore America’s Christian heritage along the historic East Coast.

“Although their programs are usually planned for middle and high school students, World Strides/Christian Discoveries was pleased to provide a trip for adults who desired more than just a tour of historical sites,” says Pat. “We were eager to learn about historical events and figures and discover how the Lord had worked in forming our nation.”

The tour began in Boston and then traveled to Lexington, Concord and Plymouth. Discussions at these sites centered on the historical events and how they affected lives during colonial times. In Boston, they took a short tour of Harvard University. Pat says, “Now I can say that ‘I went to Harvard’ because I did! It was only a tour, but I’ll let people interpret my statement however they would like.”

A two-day visit New York City was next on the itinerary and included a visit to the new Ground Zero Museum. Later that evening, the group enjoyed the Broadway musical, “Aladdin.”

Pat took this photo of the new Freedom Tower at Ground Zero in New York City. “The reflection of the cross is real, not Photoshopped,” she says.

Pat took this photo of the new Freedom Tower at Ground Zero in New York City. “The reflection of the cross is real, not Photoshopped,” she says.

In Philadelphia, the CLCC travelers learned about the Revolutionary War, formation of the U.S. government and the documents that were written to assure America’s freedom. Pat says Independence Hall is always one of her favorite places to visit.

Before the travelers entered the discussion of the Civil War, a short stop was made at Bird-In-Hand to visit a working Amish Farm and an Amish Bakery and to take part in a bountiful meal at a local Amish-style restaurant complete with shoofly pie.

After an informative battlefield tour, the travelers left Gettysburg and traveled to Harper’s Ferry, a sleepy little town that played a significant role in the Civil War.

Photos by Pat Van Dyke

Photos by Pat Van Dyke

“With battles won, the CLCC group left for Washington, D.C. to continue our quest to find evidence of our nation’s Godly heritage,” says Pat. “With visits to the Capitol Mall, Arlington and Mount Vernon, we discovered how Christianity played a significant role in all that took place.”

She adds, “After nine exciting days filled with new knowledge and appreciation, the CLCC travelers can now see how God’s hand guided our forefathers through their lives and the many various events.”

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Sharon Rice