So off to another beautiful day here in DC! Morning brought flag raising and a tasty breakfast. Then it was off to Arlington National Cemetery. Many of the girls were relieved to step on to the air-conditioned bus and out of the sauna known as the outside. The cemetery was beautiful and everyone felt a significant amount of respect in the air. The tour busses loaded our minds while we loaded our cameras and once we had arrived at the Tomb of the Unknown the air became so incredibly still. As we watched the guard walk back and forth, we waited on the steps of the giant amphitheater. After the ceremonial changing of the guard and laying of the wreath we made yesterday, we headed inside to the amphitheater. Another fantastic program with an example of how we here at Girls Nation are all different, yet still very the same. A handful of delegates shared their religions with us and how it has impacted their lives; everything from Latter Day Saints to Muslim and even Judaism. After that we had one of the guards come and talk to us for a while about his job and his army lifestyle. When that ended, it was back to the busses to return to the hotel for another speaker. Steve Robertson, a retired lobbyist, taught us the importance of knowing your information about an issue when lobbying, always remembering to follow up with a client, and to never assume your opponent’s position on an issue. He was very eloquent and a pleasure to have. After lunch, we began the election process with the appointment of our new Party Delegates. When we had selected our eight delegates from the eight communities, we ventured on to our first party caucus. Here we selected committees and we elected our Party Chairman, Party Vice-Chairman, and our Party Secretary. After creating a heaping ton of decorations, chants, and skit ideas for our rally, our parties were well on their way to a great election. Dinner came and went and it was off to choir rehearsal for our trip to Walter Reed Hospital tomorrow. Following that was a massively inspiring and touching talk with the National President, Carlene Ashworth. Many girls took more than one new idea away with them after it. Another round of elections followed the speaker. This time it was the President Pro Tempore, Senate Secretary, Senate Chaplain, Senate Sergeant at Arms, Senate News Secretary, and the appointment of the Assistant Secretary and the Assistant Sergeant at Arms. With the new officers in action, we broke off in to committees to start taking a look at the many genius bills and resolutions to pass on to the senate floor. Finally, ending with a final choir rehearsal before tomorrow, and completing a very successful day.
Maggie Whiteman (Washington)