Meeting Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins (among other things)

Hi again!

It is hard to believe that my time here at the Department of State is coming to close. Continuing with the general trend of my time here, tons of things have been constantly going on!

Apollo 11 Tribute

Apollo 11 Tribute on the Washington Monument

This past weekend was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 space mission, so D.C. was booming with space related events and discussions. Most notable was the giant projection of the Apollo mission onto the Washington Monument! I went this past Saturday evening with a group of intern friends and so our showing of the Apollo launch, landing, and return back to Earth lined up with the exact time that Neil Armstrong first stepped foot on the moon at 10:56pm ET 50 years ago.

Earlier in the week, the Department of State held a reception for Buzz Aldrin and Major General Michael Collins following a talk on “Space Diplomacy” at GWU. Michael Collins was a very witty man and seemed excited at the prospects of one day having a human on Mars.  I couldn’t believe that I was standing feet away from two of the men who first witnessed space, Earth, and the moon in a perspective that humans could only barely imagine otherwise.  I was also surrounded by the heads of NASA, the Air & Space Museum, and many current and former astronauts for ISS and other space missions. It was truly a unique experience – one that I never would have imagined I would get the chance to be a part of!

Earlier this week I was also able to go on a tour of the diplomatic reception rooms in the Department of State. Fun fact – the diplomatic dining room has a carpet that ways 8,000lbs! It can only be carried out by cranes which I can’t imagine is a very fun job. On that tour I was able to see original and unique antique furniture, art, and ceramics! It was all very regal. I would definitely recommend going on the tour if you think of it!

Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West 1783

Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West 1783

In the Thomas Jefferson State Reception Room

In the Thomas Jefferson State Reception Room

 

Other highlights since my last update include getting a Library of Congress card, flipping through a dictionary once owned by George Washington, cycling to every monument in the city, and touring the Capital Building!

Looking forward towards my last week and a half in D.C., I can only hope that I look back at my time here and feel as though I took advantage of as many cool opportunities as I could! Later this week I will be sitting in on a Congressional Hearing with Senators such as Tim Kaine, Cory Booker, and Ted Cruz – the fun isn’t over yet!

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