Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Bush's Campaign Visit to Lebanon

So the President left Dayton, hit I-75 at Needmore, and progressed to Lebanon down the open highway -- open to the bus, that is; closed to everybody else. He was heading down to Lebanon for a speech at the historic Golden Lamb Inn. (Charles Dickens slept here. Lebanon was an important town in canal days -- more important than Dayton by far.) It was a comparatively short speech. The important event, for the blogosphere anyway, came afterward.

Lynn Faulkner, a Republican but not a fan of Bush, and a 9/11 widower, stopped the President as he was going to return to the bus and introduced him to his daughter Ashley with the words, "This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9/11." Bush of course spoke to the girl and did his best to convey his condolences. Lynn Faulkner took a picture of the moment and emailed it to his friends and family. They of course passed it on. The next day, the wire services picked up the story and photo.

Here are Mr. Faulkner's comments, from the Washington Dispatch:

I stumbled upon this site and was interested by comments posted about this photo.

A 3+ year member of the White House Press Corps told me today this was the best image of the President captured by anyone in his 3 years of traveling with him everywhere. Why? Because none of them were anywhere around! They had already been ushered back into the busses to leave.

Bush was speaking to the child alone but looking into the eyes of the father when that dad lifted his camera to save the precious memory for his heartbroken child.

Bush did not expect to be photographed and the father struggles with concerns that he wrongly exposed this private moment to the whole world.

You see - this photo was never intended to be seen by anyone other than 15 family members and friends whom he e-mailed it to on Tuesday night. But those 15 were so moved by what they saw that they sent it to 15 more who felt the same and did the same over and over.

48 hours later it was being seen by tens of thousands (millions???) But you were never meant to see it!

Eyes ARE the windows to the soul. I got an unexpected look through those windows and LIKED WHAT I SAW INSIDE. I lifted my camera only to save a precious and absolutely REAL moment for my heartbroken child -- To record a precious gift meant for her alone. It is purely coincidental that anyone other than the original intended 15 ever saw this photo.

I'm sorry but the cynics, anti-war leftists, anarchists, America haters, nut-cases and Bush-bashers are so blinded by politics that they cannot recognize strength, compassion, humanity and character even when it is staring them in the eyes.

The "Father"

Posted by: Lynn at May 7, 2004 11:25 PM

I don't think this story really proves anything politically; as one Washington Dispatch commenter said, everyone in America would like to give that girl a hug. But it's nice to read.

If you would like to know more about the Faulkners, check out the webpage for the Wendy Faulkner Memorial Children's Foundation or read a tribute to her in Information Week.

The Cincinnati speech was a lot tighter-knit and hence less interesting, so I won't blog about it. Only interesting thing was that, once again, somebody yelled out "Viva Bush!" at the beginning. Heh. I want to have that job. It doesn't necessarily mean the sentiment's insincere, btw. I'm sure the various local Hispanic groups are glad to yell this stuff out. But whether it's actually pre-arranged, or whether this is just a popular enough slogan with Spanish speakers, hard to say. Fun to hear, though, I'm sure.


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