WASHINGTON, D.C. – “Senators” from American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation had the honor of visiting Arlington National Cemetery and laying a wreath of poppies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to kick off their week at this prestigious hands-on government leadership summer camp.
“Arlington was breath-taking and such a humbling experience,” said Karrington True of Indiana. “Words will never scratch the surface of how thankful I am for all the sacrifices made for our freedoms. ALA Girls Nation is more than I imagined.”
Experiencing a level of respect and reverence that many have not experienced before in their short 17 years, one girl wrote the following for the ALA Girls Nation blog:
“Click. Click. Click. A member of the Old Guard paces down and back in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 21 steps, 21 seconds, 21 seconds, 21 steps. As the honor guard paces in front of the Tomb and the Eternal Flame burns at John F. Kennedy’s gravesite, a sea of red polos washed over the cemetery. Four girls -- Emily Demsetz, CA; Breelyn Karno, WI; MaKennah Little, IA; and Charley Planteen, ND -- had the honor of laying a wreath made of poppies at the tomb of “An American Soldier Known but to God,” while the rest of the senators watched in silence. After a beautiful patriotic ceremony in the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater, we were taken by tram to tour the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, a tribute to servicewomen from all time periods. Because of this powerful trip to Arlington, we have learned that freedom is NOT free. Arlington National Cemetery was just a glimpse at the amount of servicemen and women who have died fighting for our freedom.”
About American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation: As part of this annual ALA program, two outstanding citizens, known as “senators,” are selected during 49 ALA Girls State sessions. These students then represent their respective states at ALA Girls Nation. This six-day leadership conference, held in Washington, D.C., is designed to provide practical insight into the workings of government, instill a sense of pride and loyalty in America, and create friendships and memories that last a lifetime.
About the American Legion Auxiliary: Members of the American Legion Auxiliary, which was founded in 1919, dedicate themselves to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of nearly $3 billion. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, Auxiliary volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the Auxiliary’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.###