LAMS Students Lay Wreath At Arlington National Cemetery Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

Sentinel of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier presenting the Los Alamos Middle School wreath. Courtesy photo

2023 LAMS Washington, DC tour group in front of the White House. Courtesy photo

Honor Guard members for wreath laying processional are, back row, Tyler Regele and Chris Teague. Front row: Kaitlyn Seitz-Pruitt, Karly Seitz-Pruitt, and Sentinel. Courtesy photo

Honor Guards laying LAMS wreath are Tyler Regele, Chris Teague, Kaitlyn Seitz-Pruitt, and Karly Seitz-Pruitt. Courtesy photo

Playing taps and saluting fallen soldiers during LAMS wreath-laying ceremony. Courtesy photo

Terry Quinn and Roberta Cocking have been leading LAMS Washington, DC tours since 1985. Courtesy photo


Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) students were given the honor of laying the wreath at the Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during their recent trip to Washington, DC. Four eighth-grade students, Chris Teague, Tyler Regele, Kaitlyn Seitz-Pruitt, and Karly Seitz-Pruitt, were selected as honor guards from a DC-trip essay contest.

A video of the wreath laying ceremony may be seen here:

The students were part of a group of 29 students (many of their parents had been on the trip when they were in middle school) and 5 chaperones who traveled to the nation’s capital for a transformative learning experience, led by passionate trip leader Roberta Cocking. Cocking has been leading LAMS 8th grade DC-trips since 1985 and continues to exude energy and excitement for her students. During their trip, the LAMS students also had the opportunity to meet up with Terry Quinn, a previous LAMS history teacher who started the DC trips. Mr. Quinn was impressed with the students’ enthusiasm and curiosity about the history and government of the United States.

The wreath-laying ceremony is a solemn tradition that honors those who have given their lives in service to the country. For the LAMS students, it was a meaningful and emotional experience. “It was an incredible honor to be able to lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” said honor guard Chris Teague. Honor guard Karly Seitz-Pruitt said “It made me feel proud to be an American and to be able to show my respect.”

In addition to the wreath-laying ceremony, the LAMS students had the opportunity to visit many of the iconic landmarks and memorials in the capital city, including the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian museums, and the Capitol Building. The students also placed artifacts made by students from Grosse Ile Middle School in Michigan at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

For many of the students, the trip was an extraordinary experience that they will never forget. “The few days we spent in Washington, DC taught me so much that I could not have gained from sitting in a classroom,” said Kaitlyn Seitz-Pruitt. “It was an amazing experience to witness our history and I will always cherish this unforgettable trip.”

Roberta Cocking echoed the students’ enthusiasm, saying, “I am so proud of these students and the effort they put into making this trip a success. They represented LAMS and New Mexico with honor and respect.”

Overall, the LAMS 8th grade DC-trip was a huge success, providing students with an unforgettable learning experience and the opportunity to honor those who have served our country.

Registration for the 2024 trip (Trip ID 209244) may be found at or call 1-800-468-5899.