Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let the Girls Nation senators tell you the topics of tuesday!

Sarah Moffitt- RI (left)
Chevy Chase
Nationalist Party Whip
Madhavi Duvvuri- MA (right)
Chevy Chase
Hello fellow bloggers!

We are senators Sarah Moffitt (Minority Whip) of Rhode Island and Madhavi Duvvuri of Massachusetts both residing in the community of Chevy Chase. Today has been a fun filled, informative, and inspiring day from start to finish. After deepening our bonds with our fellow roommates, we have managed not only to create long lasting friendships but to stay up all night forging these friendships. Some of us have slept a grand total of three hours preparing for party convention, primary elections, discussing political topics, or deciding which color shirt the boys nation senators would be suited with best. The leading shirt to trade with the senators bears our slogan, "A woman's place is in the house and the senate."

In senate session today, we discussed a bill about the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and repealing it, a bill regarding physician-assisted suicide with stipulations and regulations, and a less controversial resolution regarding the awareness of food allergens in restaurants.

All the senators then jumped on our three buses and headed for the National Holocaust Memorial Museum. On the way, senators were able to take pictures of the Jefferson Memorial, Watergate Hotel, The Kennedy Center, The Washington Monument, but only through the bus windows. Senators from Chevy Chase and Foggy Bottom competed in a bus ride cheer-off with everything from "Show me how you get down" to "form the mullet".

Upon entering the Holocaust Museum, senators were given an identification card of a Holocaust victim to follow through during their journey through Nazi Europe. We were greeted by a liberator of the concentration camps. He had forty senators pack into an elevator to simulate the experience of deportation in a crowded box car created for 12 cattle but loaded with 100 victims.

Senators went off to the various floors. The third floor displayed the beginnings of Nazism in Europe, and Adolf Hitler's rise to power. The second floor showed the uprise of antisemitism, discrimination, violence, and ostracism towards "inferior peoples" (according to the Nazis) such as homosexuals, mentally disabled, physically disabled, gypsies, Jews, and those not of the Nordic or Aryan race. The first floor portrayed the plight of victims in the concentration, labor, and death camps as well as ghettos. Senators were able to see the living quarters including sleeping barracks. In these sleeping barracks where normally three people would fit comfortably, ten were forced to sleep. The end of the exhibit consisted of the experience of liberation and freedom of the concentration camps.

An outstanding quote that left a lasting impression was portrayed at the exit of the exhibit. It was said by Pastor Martin Niemoller:
"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

This encouraged and moved many senators. We have pledged in the "From Memory to Action" exhibit to take our part in preventing such horrors such as the genocide in Darfur or hate crimes throughout the world.

Later during the evening, Nesse Godin, a holocaust survivor came to speak to Girls Nation. She was the most inspiring speaker we have seen. She remembered the details of everyday like it was yesterday and not sixty years ago. She was a thirteen year old girl living in Lithuania when the Nazis occupied her town. She was too young to work and was in danger of being sent to a death camp. However, she recounted the story of how a brave Lithuanian secretary saved her life by allowing her to remain with her family and move to a ghetto. She lived in the terrible conditions for two years, while in hiding. In November of 1942, she was separated from her family and was sent to a labor camp. She was lucky enough to avoid death in the gas chambers as she worked digging cone-shaped holes in the ground. She had to continually make herself look taller, stronger, and healthier so the guards would not kill her. She was moved to no less than four labor camps. After having been forced into a death march, she lived in a barn and worked with other women. Daily, she watched many die and she too began to lose hope. However, three women there who had taken care of her for years told her to never give up hope because faith, love, and kindness will always prevail. They made her promise to keep fighting to live and to tell her story around the world so this kind of tragedy will never occur again. To this day, she abides by their words. She believes in the future of Americans, and young women such as the girls nation senators. Every girl was moved by her story, and there were not many dry eyes in the room.

We all thanked her graciously for her time with us, and have promised to uphold her wish for world humanity.

As now we must attend a senate session, it is so moved and seconded to close this blog.

Thank you all and goodnight!

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