United Nations trip was memorable for three local students

This article submitted by Stephanie Everson on 07/29/97.

Although they weren't able to see the United Nations Building, the original purpose for the annual pilgrimage, three Paynesville area students salvaged their trip, returning home with a heightened sense of the United States' national government.

Danita Olson, daughter of Daniel and Wanita, Jennifer Lindquist, daughter of Tom and Katy, and Tim Lieser, son of Gary and Corrine, were chosen by the Paynesville Rebekah and Odd Fellow Lodge to travel to the East Coast on a United Nations Pilgrimage. The intention of the trip was to tour the United Nations building, but due to unforeseen circumstances, that was not to be.

Unfortunately for the students, President Clinton called a world conference during the days the students were there, and due to police, barricades, and other national security measures, the students were unable to see the building. "It was kind of ironic," commented Olson. "It was the whole purpose of the trip, but we weren't able to see it."

Even so, the students enjoyed and learned much from their experiences, spending their 14-day trip viewing many other sites and cities, including the presidential monuments in Washington, D.C. and historical sites in Boston. New York City was also exciting for the three, as was Niagara Falls and the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Canada.

Lieser expressed his amazement that the Paynesville Rebekah and Odd Fellows Lodge, who paid the full amount of the student's travel and costs, would send them. "It was such an incredible trip," he said. Ellis Island, the entrance point for thousands of immigrants throughout United States history, as well as the Statue of Liberty, were particularly interesting for Olson.

Lindquist mentioned the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, where the students learned about the history and workings of the Canadian government, was especially eye-opening for her. In particular, the amount of power the Canadian government has with an unconditional veto. "Our system of checks and balances would never allow that," she commented.

Even though the students weren't able to visit the United Nations building, they returned home with a better understanding of the history and workings of their native United States.

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