Siloam Springs students get a personal tour from Boozman

Dan Urban, a history professor at Siloam Springs Middle School, has taken groups of students to Washington DC almost every year since 1999.

This year, the first tour since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, things looked a little different. The group, consisting of 32 people, was unable to enter the US Capitol building.

“We normally visit the Capitol, but because of the insurrection (January 6, 2021), it will be closed indefinitely,” Urban said.

However, Urban and the group had a stroke of luck.

“Heading to DC on tour, Senator John Boozman was actually on our flight,” Urban said. “We explained what was going on, he took my number and the next day we were on a private tour of the Capitol.”

Boozman, the senior US senator from Arkansas, gave the group a two-hour personal tour of the Capitol.

“It was unlike anything you would ever get,” Urban said. “It was really amazing. It was probably a highlight for almost everyone.”

He went on to say, “Boozman met us in front of the steps on the Senate side. He showed us the art, the House bedroom, Nancy Pelosi’s office. We were all able to step out onto the balcony where the President giving his inaugural speech on Washington Mall, he was very genuine, very humble and sweet.

“The fact that Senator Boozman took the time out of his busy schedule to give us an in-depth personal visit is incredible. It was sincere and genuine. He was so kind and accommodating.”

Urban says trips like this are important for students.

“So many decisions are made in Washington,” Urban said. “That’s where your country’s decisions are made. We elect leaders to represent us, and that’s where they go. It’s important for students to see what’s going on, where it’s going and even to be able to meet their senator.”

Urban tours also go to Philadelphia and New York.

“There are so many different things kids can see,” he said. “We’ve piled it all in. We’ve actually done 58 miles this year in seven days. Next year we’ve already got between 75 and 80 registered.

“It’s something the kids will never forget.”

Courtesy of Dan Urban, Senator John Boozman shows the tour group the Capitol Rotunda, otherwise known as the “symbolic and physical heart” of the United States Capitol building in Washington DC


Courtesy of Dan Urban Senator John Boozman leads a group of students on a tour of the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall, a room in the building filled with statues of prominent Americans.


Courtesy of Dan Urban Senator John Boozman leads students through a room in the Capitol. He agreed to give the group a private tour after meeting them on a plane to Washington DC

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