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Cherokee NJROTC cadets get lessons in Tennessee history, politics during Nashville trip

Cadet CPO Sydney Lilly • Apr 21, 2019 at 6:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A group of Cherokee High School NJROTC cadets who visited Nashville last week studied Tennessee history, then marked their names in the state history books via presentations given in the Capitol.

Upon their arrival in Nashville Monday, the cadets were given a tour of the Cordell Hull State Office Building.

This complex is named after the Tennessean who served as secretary of state under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Hull was the first man from Tennessee to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Cadets were led on a tour of the 11-story building that is home to many state offices, and they also had the privilege to see inside one of the many hearing rooms.

After that was complete, the cadets traveled through the Ron Ramsey Tunnel, which connects Cordell Hull and the Capitol.

Upon arriving at the Capitol building, cadets were given a tour and asked to give a presentation on a subject they had studied before they departed for Nashville.

Cadets gave presentations regarding various points of interest around the Capitol including its history, Tennessee’s first female Speaker of the House, the Greek-inspired architecture, and the graves of James K. Polk and Samuel Morgan.

“I studied about Samuel Morgan, the architect of the Capitol, on the trip,” said Cadet Elizabeth Massengill. “It was fascinating seeing all the Greek-inspired architecture he designed and his crypt in the wall of the Capitol, in honor of his beautiful work.”

While at the Capitol, the cadets attended an evening voting session of the Tennessee House of Representatives and witnessed a protest by citizens on HB-1079 being voted on.

Cadets sat in the balcony and were introduced and recognized on the floor by 9th District Rep. Gary Hicks Jr.

While in the balcony, Cadet Travis Baxley gave his presentation on how a law gets passed, and all students watched his presentation unfold as the voting started.

“Watching and experiencing how the laws are made firsthand made it really interesting and fun to watch,” Cadet Kameron Sauceman said. “It was exciting to listen to the views of both sides on the laws they are trying to pass.”

On Tuesday, cadets explored the Tennessee Military Museum and the Tennessee State Museum, which is located in the War Memorial Building.

“This museum offers a great deal of insight to a subject I have studied for years,” said Baxley. “Everything from the uniforms, weaponry, the technique, and strategies used to win the war were so detailed and descriptive. If given the chance, I would love to go back and spend more time going through all it has to offer.”

The Tennessee State Museum located in the heart of Nashville was the last stop.

The museum includes a “Tennessee Time Tunnel” chronicling the states’ rich history, six changing galleries, a state-of-the-art digital learning center, grand hall, and second-floor veranda.

The exhibitions included special displays of art, furniture, textiles, and photographs produced by Tennesseans, as well as artifacts important to the state’s history. The museum has some of the nation’s finest Civil War uniforms, battle flags, and weapons.

“The Tennessee State Museum was quite amazing,” said Cadet Chris Seals. “I could’ve spent days reading about the history of Tennessee in there.”

The trip was an opportunity for cadets to hone their speaking skills, experience state politics, and investigate some of their own state and the country’s history.

“It’s one of the most intriguing and historically interactive places in the state,” said Cadet Jade Owens.

Other cadets taking part in the trip were Heather Whitt, Jewel MacGregor, Sydney Lilly, Shannah Gray, Kendall Chamberlain, McKenzie Warden, Sara Sirkin, and Johnny Pearson.

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