Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) delivered the keynote address at today’s Volunteer Girls State Assembly in Murfreesboro, where he recognized the gathering of 534 young women from across the state for their commitment to excellence in civic leadership.
“What you see on television with politicians bickering about partisan issues misses the mark. What’s important is doing the right thing and giving back to your community through public service,” said Alexander. “My friend Alex Haley used to say ‘Find the good, and praise it.’ and that’s why I’m here today: to praise all of your efforts to improve the places that you live.”
Volunteer Girls State was founded in 1947 by the American Legion Auxiliary and provides rising high school juniors the chance to form and operate a mock government system that teaches them leadership and citizen-training skills. Also in attendance at this year’s Assembly was National President of the American Legion Auxiliary, Jan Pulvermacher-Ryan, who chose to visit the assembly during her official state visit for 2008.
“The American Legion Auxiliary is doing a good thing by helping foster leadership and civic responsibility, and for that they should be praised. If I could give one word of advice to all the young women here, it would to be to aim for the top—there’s more room up there,” said Alexander.
In addition to delivering the keynote address, Alexander played Tennessee Waltz on the piano for the group, reprising his performance from Saturday’s Memphis in May/Sunset Symphony where he played a selection of famous Tennessee melodies.
This year marks the 51st anniversary of Alexander’s election as governor of the Volunteer Boys State Assembly when he was a student.