Three Crestview students participated in the wreath laying ceremony while in Washington, D.C. for a school trip.

CRESTVIEW — Three students from the Crestview area participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier last week.


The ceremony took place on Nov. 25 at the Arlington National Cemetery during a Bob Sikes Elementary safety patrol group trip to Washington, D.C.


Isabella Pawlak, Kevin Bottom, Max Quarrier and Bob Sikes School Resource Officer Jennifer Vitale were all involved in the ceremony. Pawlak and Bottom placed the wreath on the stand, while Quarrier and Vitale stood a few feet away with their hand over their heart.


"I learned that there was other people who didn’t know what it was so it inspired me to do it a little more," Pawlak said. "It was a fun experience."


The opportunity to participate in the ceremony came after Vitale talked with their trip manager, who found out Arlington had an opening.


After talking with the students to see who understood the meaning of the ceremony, Vitale drew names out of a hat to decide who would get to participate.


"You could tell that all the kids were saddened by the fact that there is someone that we don’t know who they are," Vitale said. "It was a great experience not just for those three but for all of the students."


Vitale was very impressed with the way that Pawlak, Bottom and Quarrier handled themselves during the ceremony.


"All three were respectful and understood the importance of the ceremony," Vitale said. "They were somber and very proud to able to participate."


The ceremony and its meaning seemed to overwhelm both Pawlak and Bottom.


"You could tell the importance of it really hit them," Vitale said. "They needed that hug for a second afterwards. That is something I won’t forget: how much they felt it."


Vitale hopes that the whole experience will make all of the students excited to go back to school and interested in learning more about what they witnessed.


"It was a learning experience, but at the same time it was a vacation," Vitale said. "For them to have understood the whole lesson of Arlington, let alone the ceremony, was incredible."