Being a White House Intern has been an amazing experience. Walking into work every day is a surreal experience that reminds me how thankful I am for this opportunity. As interns at the White House, we are able to experience a number of unique events. I was very fortunate to witness a Marine One take-off and landing on the South Lawn. Everyone in D.C. has likely, at some point, seen Marine One fly overhead, but watching the press taking pictures and seeing the President wave from the stairs is a unique and wonderful experience.
As I and my fellow interns stood under a blazing D.C. afternoon sun, the wind from the chopper blades – just a few hundred feet away – was powerful. The excitement of standing on the South Lawn waiting for take-off is unrivaled. The ceremonial aspect of the take-off was something I never thought about prior to this experience. A Marine disembarks as soon as the chopper lands and awaits the President’s arrival, standing at attention by the helicopter door. Photographers ready themselves to take the perfect shot of the President walking out to the South Lawn. And sometimes, eager interns await their chance to wave at the President!
On the day I watched Marine One depart, President Trump acknowledged the group of interns I was standing with by waving at us and giving us a “thumbs-up” as he boarded the helicopter, and it was a special moment. I was able to embrace the experience without being caught up in my phone broadcasting every moment, which retrospectively I am thankful for. I was so caught up in the moment I didn’t feel the need to take photos to commemorate this experience.
I truly felt honored to witness Marine One lifting off from the South Lawn. It’s a sight I know I’ll never forget!
Ljubica Basica is from Bassett, VA and is a Senior studying Political Science and History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ljubica is a member of the Summer 2017 White House Internship Program in the Office of Management and Administration.