Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Life in the Government Office

Whoa you’re halfway there,
Whoa living on a prayer!

No one describes our day as well as Bon Jovi!

Building upon energy from yesterday, the girls made the most of their Tuesday at Girls Nation. We held our party conventions this morning and we elected our Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates for each party. Congratulations and good luck!

After a lightning fast lunch, we jumped aboard the busses and headed to the White House. I can’t describe how amazing it was to meet the President of the United States. To kill time waiting on President Obama to arrive, the senators and staff began to sing a medley of patriotic songs. As we finished the second round of “You’re a Grand Old Flag” we heard applause coming from down the hallway…and President Barack Obama came out on the red carpet and into the room where we were all anxiously awaiting (some of us VERY anxiously!). He chatted with the senators, gave a short speech, and then took photos with the group of senators and the group of the staff. It was truly overwhelming.

As soon as the wheels stopped turning in the 4-H Center parking lot (and the high from meeting the President was beginning to wear off ever so slightly), we raced to Senate. While in session the senators passed SB 4 (TX) the Resident Rights Extension Act and SR 2 (NH) Humane Poultry Slaughter. We adjourned to hold quick party meetings and then we were off to flag. From flag we ran to dinner, the government staff gobbled down food and came back to do work in the office, and then we heard the story of a Holocaust survivor. Many of us were moved to tears as she spoke about her experiences before, during, and after WWII. Then we were dismissed to board the busses for a monument tour. The girls sang at the Vietnam Memorial then we visited the Lincoln Memorial and Korean Memorial. While walking along the Vietnam Wall I saw a veteran and thanked him for his military service to our country. I was quite surprised when he responded back, “Thank you girls for singing here tonight.” What we did tonight paled in comparison to the years he had served, but it meant a lot to him.

I can’t believe how much we have crammed into today (and every day). We are still in the office tonight working – and wondering just how we will make it through the rest of the week. But as the song says, we are halfway there!!

Before I sign off I wanted to share something a senator said earlier today…Senator Margolis (NC) commented in the Nationalist Party Convention, “It’s been one of the most amazing weeks of my life – and it’s only Tuesday.” I am so happy that the girls are enjoying themselves, and I know that every minute we volunteer here this week is well worth it as we see their smiles.

Til Tomorrow,
Katie Cochran
Government Staff
Indiana / Missoui

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