Plans have been underway for a very special event with Secretary Clinton here in Jerusalem – a “Meet and Greet” event for the staff and families of the U.S. Consulate General, Jerusalem and the U.S. Embassy, Tel Aviv. I am excited to be a part of the planning for her first visit to Jerusalem as Secretary of State. There is definitely a buzz in the air among my colleagues about our new Secretary and this opportunity to meet her face-to-face. The warehousemen have readied the red carpet, and we are expecting over 300 people to attend. The microphones have been tested; the stage is ready, but I am still checking every detail so that she is just as impressed with us as I know we will be with her. I am sorry that the weather forced us to move this event indoors. The Consulate’s garden is beautiful, and it would have been fun to host Secretary Clinton in our “home.”
As we await her arrival, everyone is milling around with a sense of anticipation. The kids are playing, many not aware of the special person that they are about to meet. I have been trying to teach my 18-month old daughter to say “Madame Secretary” just in case she comes up to us to shake our hands. When we receive word that the Secretary has entered the building, a hush falls over the crowd. The children line up with their parents, and everyone has their cameras ready. As she comes into the room, the crowd erupts with applause, and the Secretary’s face beams as she steps onto the stage. T he Secretary’s first words resonate over the microphone as she tells us all how delighted she is to be here. She acknowledges the daily efforts of the staff at the Consulate General and Embassy and then takes time to sit and chat with the children and shake the hands of staff eagerly lined up along the red carpet. I am very proud as a diplomat, an American, and a member of the Consulate General team.