Sunday, July 19, 2009

Off they go: first outing and a day of senate sessions!

With the rise of the sun today came 98 young ladies dressed in light pink shirts bearing the Girls Nation logo ready to start their first full day in the nation's capitol. The first outing for the Senators was to Arlington National Cemetery. It was moving to travel through over 1,000 acres of land that exists to honor those that worked and fought for this wonderful country that is America.

As the sun rose higher into the sky, the ladies in pink were shifting silently about John F. Kennedy's burial sight, reflecting on the life and death of a dearly loved and missed American president.
From there the Senators boarded the Tour Mobile and headed over to the Tomb of the Unknown. Again they silently sat and watched as an active duty member of the military marched back and forth, taking only 21 steps in each direction and pausing for 21 seconds in between. Soon a bell charmed nine times to mark that it was now nine in the morning, the changing of the guards soon began. What a wonderful sight it was to see intelligent young ladies watching as three (nearly matching) men moved about in front of a tomb that contained a brave young man, who is known but to God.
To show appreciation to the soldiers that remain unknown, four Senators presented a wreath at the front of the tomb. The wreath bore over 100 poppies, which had been placed by GN Senators and staff just last night.

After the presentation of the wreath, Senators had an Ecumenical Service in the Memorial Amphitheater. Here nine young ladies were able to share information about their religious backgrounds.
Ending the trip was a short stop at WIMSA - Women in Military Service for America, a memorial that honors the women that were in the military. After a movie, WIMSA Foundation Director Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught USAF (Ret.) spoke to the ladies about her time in the military. With Vaught being a native of Illinois, it was only right that Senators from that state took pictures with the General. A quick stop at the gift shop and the girls were back on the bus and headed to the 4-H Center for a bite to eat and an afternoon full of Senate Sessions! -Adrians

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