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A Visit From Senator Amy Klobuchar

By Christine Schulze | Published: August 15, 2018

Senator Amy Klobuchar speaks at International Day

The Senior Senator from the State of Minnesota, The Honorable Amy Klobuchar, stopped by International Day at Concordia Language Villages last week. She joined us at our opening parade of Villages, incorporating 1300 villagers and staff representing nine of our 15 languages. Her daughter Abigail, now 23, attended a French youth session at Lac du Bois and a Swiss family week at Waldsee a number of years ago.

After welcoming the many villagers who come from across the United States to Minnesota, Senator Klobuchar said, “I know Concordia has been doing this since 1961, which is incredible. I have a feeling some of you weren’t born then. But here you are now! We’re living in a period of time in the world where things are polarized. People are having a lot of arguments, and right now in our nation is a time where we’ve got to be remembering all the cultures that are in our country and all of the countries that are in the world.”

The Senator acknowledged that what she loved about Generation Z is that research has shown that it is the most diverse generation that we’ve ever had in this country. That it is the most globally minded generation. And that these young people work as hard, if not harder, than the other generations before them.

She then told a story to convey the idea that there’s a lot on their shoulders in this day and age. Being willing to learn another language and about other cultures is not just an investment in their own personal enrichment, but an investment for our whole nation.

“This was a story I heard from the guy that runs the Chicago Cubs. You all remember the Chicago Cubs had not won the World Series for 108 years. And it was such a big deal when they finally got to the World Series that people were actually putting radios on the gravestones of their ancestors so they could hear the final game.

"So the game is going incredibly well, and the Cubs are way ahead, and they have a three-run lead . . . and all of a sudden they blow a three-run lead, in the final game of the World Series. And there’s a big rain delay. And those of you that play sports know that during rain delays a lot of people go and sit in the locker room. They’re kind of looking down, thinking about what happened.

"Well, the president of the Cubs, Theo Epstein, was standing outside the locker room when this happened. Imagine this: 108 years of history on their shoulders. And he looked in the locker room. And while usually players are looking down, this day they were looking at each other. They weren’t looking at their phones; they were looking at each other.

"The worst player, the guy that had the worst season, was leading the discussion. What they talked about was what their year had meant as a team, kind of like what this camp has meant for you. They talked to each other, they looked at each other, they didn’t look down, and they said, ‘No matter what happens, we have been the best team and we’ve had the best season, and we’re going to go out there and play. And they went out there, and against all odds, they rallied, and they won.”

The message of the story is about the future ahead, and the opportunities that await. And although it’s important to think about every step that you take along that career path, it’s equally important to remember to look at each other and learn from people whom you’ve never met before. She encouraged the villagers to keep learning languages and about other cultures.

Senator Klobuchar receives the gift of French and German Village name tags.

Senator Klobuchar ended with, "Because we need you, as young as you are, to carry that burden.   You are all going to be the leaders going forward, and being the guardian angels for keeping this concept of America that is so important. We are the beacon for the world of democracy, but we’re also the beacon for reaching out and bringing in other people’s cultures and ideas. That is what made our country strong. So you are literally, at your young age, the guardian angels to carry this on. I somehow know, having my own daughter graduated from this camp, that you’re going to be able to carry on that tradition. They’re big wings, but you can wear them.”

 

Before she left the stage, we presented her with two Village nametags: one in French “Aimée” and one in German “Amelie.” She is now equipped to be a participant at a future adult session at the Villages!

About the Speaker

A headshot of Senator Klobuchar with Christine Schulze

Senator Amy Klobuchar is the senior United States Senator for the state of Minnesota. She was first elected in 2006 and was the first female senator elected from that state. She entered politics after the birth of her daughter Abigail, appearing before the Minnesota State Legislature to advocate for a guaranteed 48-hour hospital stay for new mothers. The bill was passed and afterwards became federal law. She is currently the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee.

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