Monday, July 23, 2018

Two Senators Reflect on the Arlington National Cemetery Experience

Between the honorable trip to Arlington National Cemetery and our first Senate session of the 72nd ALA Girls Nation, day one was tightly packed and eventful. On our trip to Arlington National Cemetery, the sun briefly greeted us as we watched the changing of the guard. Furthermore, four senators were given the opportunity to partake in a wreath laying ceremony, including one of our own from the Foggy Bottom community! Following the wreath laying ceremony, the choir performed patriotic songs and several senators recited poems to honor the brave men and women of our country. As the rain moved in, we traveled to the final resting place of former President John F. Kennedy and toured the grounds via tram. Arlington National Cemetery demands a respect that ALA Girls Nation was proud to give. We can guarantee that on our way back to campus, everyone slept on the bus!

Our first Senate session was initiated by speaker Ms. Mary “Dubbie” Buckler from American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters. As a former ALA Girls State participant, Dubbie provided thoughtful insight and wise words concerning our presence here at ALA Girls Nation. An inspirational woman, all ALA Girls Nation senators agreed that we were lucky and grateful to have such a powerful speaker. Later in the night, we elected Senate positions and started the initial review process of the proposed legislation by each state through committees. By the end of the night, our brains were fried, hearts aflutter, and stomachs full.

In retrospect, day one, of what is to be a long and fruitful week, tested our endurance and motivated us to represent our states with pride. The Foggy Bottom community is looking forward to five more days of fun!

Roula Hammer, MD

Ella Doyle, MN

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