Day six was a busy day for the senators as the majority of it was spent off campus. Inauguration for both the President and Vice President took place at the D.C. national headquarters of The American Legion with the Hon. Sparky Gierke and Hon. Alan Lance presiding. From there, the afternoon was spent at the Supreme Court where the senators enjoyed a wonderful hour with the Court Clerk , Gen. William Suter. The evening included a visit from for Boys Nation alumni who shared their stories and words of wisdom with the senators.
Day five brought more senate sessions for the senators where a number of bills were entered with some passing fairly quickly. In the afternoon, the much anticipated candidate debates took place and after dinner the election process took center stage. The newly elected President of Boys Nation is Jonathan Hess from Tuscaloosa, Alabama and the Vice President is Joseph Aumuller, from Libertyville, Ilinois.
Day four started with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery. Representing the 98 senators, Benjamin McFarlin of Canton, Georgia and Gabriel Levy of Clarksville, Tennessee represented the 98 senators by participating in the wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns. From Arlington, the senators traveled the short distance to the Iwo Jima Memorial and then it was back to campus for more party conventions in the afternoon and evening.
Day three finds the senators attending the Memorial Service with National Chaplain Gerald Theriot bringing a powerful message to the young men. Remembering those who have gone before, the price they paid for our freedoms, to those who are serving today. The afternoon quickly passed with party conventions and then it was on to the Greenbelt Post 136 for dinner where the senators had the opportunity to hear from the National Commander Fang Wong. The day ended with a beautiful evening walking the National Mall.
Day two began with a general orientation where the senators were introduced to the staff and an overview of the program was shared. Peter Gaytan, Executive Director of the Washington DC. Legion office swore in the 98 senators. As the day progressed, party conventions and senate sessions convened. Ultimately a President Pro Tempore and Secretary of the Senate were elected. Further appointments were made, bills introduced and it was obvious by the activity that Boys Nation 2012 was off to a running start !
Morning dawned with much needed rain in the D.C. area, but as the staff began their trek to the airport to begin picking up delegates, the excitement mounted, brightening an otherwise gloomy morning. The year had sped by fast since the last group of delegates had passed through the halls of Marymount University and soon a new group of 98 young men would enter the doors to begin this week that indeed is a week that shapes a lifetime !
The last day for the boys started with the last senate session which also was streamed live. Once finished the group headed off campus for one more trip. The destination was the American History Museum and the WWII Memorial.A wonderful final dinner was enjoyed by all followed by a stirring graduation ceremony. Boys Nation comes to an end but the result was making new great friends, having a wonderful time, and knowing without a doubt it had been a week that indeeds shapes a lifetime.
Today the senators headed to Capitol Hill for "Hill Day". This is the day they meet their respective state senators. Joining them for this experience were the delegates from Girls Nation.
Evening brought a special speaker and wonderful treat for the senators. Holocaust survivor Nesse Goden shared her story to an audience riveted to her every word. After taking questions, Nesse spent time with the boys taking photos and just enjoying their company.
Wednesday dawned with the senators gathering for flag raising and then the short walk to the auditorium for the Inauguration of President Michael Herbert and Vice President Benjamin Attia by the Honorable Alan Lance.
From there the President made his cabinet appointments and the rest of the day the senators met in their respective senate committees. The evening program was the very popular Alumni Night with returning Boys Nation Alumni, Michael Lang, Maj. Sean Morrow, Dan Webber, and Joel Leftwich prior to the senators return for an additional senate session rounding out the day.
It made little difference the 98 delegates stood in the hot July sun along the sidewalk waiting their turn to go through security to enter the White House. They were excited as they were to meet the President of the United States.
It was a long wait, but when it was over, they were rewarded with a photo session with President Obama, his encouraging words and hearty handshakes for all. The afternoon brought the first live webcast as the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates debated. After a short break allowing for dinner, the delegates once again convened where the all important vote was cast to elect these positions. With another live session webcast, Michael Herbert of Arvada, Colorado was elected President and Benjamin Attia of Hockessin, Delaware was elected Vice President.
Monday dawned with preparations to head off campus once again, this time to Arlington National Cemetery. The weather was humid and warm even in the early morning hours, yet the excited delegates selected to participate in the wreath laying, Luke Hudson, Indiana and Caspar Adrian of Kentucky, would hardly feel the warm temperatures.
Upon returning to campus, the rest of the day was devoted to party conventions that ended with the presidential and vice presidential candidates determined.
Nationalist Party:Presidential Candidate: Preston Moore II, GeorgiaVice Presidential Candidate: Benjamin Attia, Deleware
Federalist Party:Presidential Candidate: Michael Herbert, ColoradoVice Presidential Candidate: Jordan Jentz, Texas
Sunday dawned with early morning flag raising and then the delegates attended the Memorial service. National Chaplain, Rev. Daniel Seehafer spoke.
Senate sessions and committee meetings filled the afternoon until it was time to leave for the Greenbelt American Legion Post for a wonderful dinner and evening program. National commander, Jimmie Foster joined the Boys Nation delegates, spoke and took questions.
After an inspiring evening at Greenbelt the delegates headed downtown to the National Mall for an early evening walk to view the variety of memorials in the area.
The day begins early at Boys Nation with breakfast at 7:00 AM following close behind with the morning flag raising. The first day of the program is no exception.Immediately following the delegates met for orientation where they were introduced to staff and learned more about their upcoming week from Program Director, Michael Buss. The oath of office was then administered by American Legion Legislative Director, Tim Tetz.As the morning sped by, the first legislative assembly took place. The afternoon was filled with party conventions and senate committees.
The delegates arrive from across the nation to begin their week of adventure at Boys Nation.The Washington D.C. weather was hot as was the rest of the country, but that didn't damper any of the excitement evident in the boys' eyes.
The delegates initially signed in, received their room keys and Boys Nation polo shirts before heading to their assigned dorm rooms to drop off luggage. Soon they had the opportunity for their first meal at Marymount University and then it was off for their first section meetings followed by an ice cream social mixer.
A day on the hill. With the humid, hot temperatures abounding, the senators head to the hill to meet with their senators. A day full of exploring, learning and watching our government at work along with the amazing opportunity to meet the senators from their home states.
Evening brought the much anticipated and much loved visit from Holocaust survivor, Nesse Goden. She was thrilled to speak to Boys Nation once again and the senators were captivated and moved by her stirring and emotional story.
The morning began with the inauguration of Boys Nation President Charlie Brown and Vice-President, Alex Geiger. Their oath of office was administered by the Honorable Alan Lance, who is also a past national commander of The American Legion. The rest of the morning found the senators in senate sessions.
The afternoon brought a trip to the World War II Memorial, and the American History Museum.