Finally, the bills have hit the floor! Yesterday the first legislative session occurred and we began debating bills and resolutions. Two bills have been introduced so far and one has been passed. One resolution was also passed. We are anticipating each party will strive to be their very best as we move forward. The pace at ALA Girls Nation moves so quickly. Combined with all of the amazing opportunities to explore Washington, D.C., the girls are working morning to night and doing a great job adjusting to the fast pace of the week.
“Never again.” We had the opportunity to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Behind the doors we viewed something that you cannot find in a history book, or learn online. The emotions we felt as we viewed rooms filled with artifacts, pictures, and stories of survivors and those who died in this tragedy were beyond compare. In the evening, we had the unique opportunity to listen to a Holocaust survivor’s miraculous story. Nesse Godin’s story included tales of neighbors that refused to help her, time spent eating only bread and water, life in a labor camp and what it was like to go on a death march. Nesse, her mother and brother all survived the Holocaust; however her father was killed in a selection.
It would be easy for someone who endured so much tragedy and pain to become bitter and angry. She shared how at first she was filled with anger, but that it was her mother who reminded her that Hitler wanted her angry. She told Nesse that she was entitled to a life and that she should enjoy all the best life can offer her, and let the best of herself give back to life. Give back to life is exactly what Nesse has done for the last 20+ years. Nesse volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and shares her experiences with groups like the ALA Girls Nation program. Nesse Godin taught us we have an obligation to humanity to show compassion and empathy for those in need. She encouraged us to support our neighbors and offer help to those in need regardless of whether or not it affects us. Her inspirational story is one that will remain in our hearts forever. To read more on Nesse’s story, see her article in the American Legion Auxiliary’s magazine here: http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=242895 .