Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Obama's visit brings out well-wishers

I'm getting back into the groove of things after a fabulous week off to visit friends and family throughout the Midwest. With predictions of a steamy 90 degrees here in Tampa Bay today, I'm treasuring snapshots of golden autumn leaves, crisp mornings and warm hugs.

But the local news was a good welcome home, as President Obama landed in our back yard yesterday. And, politics aside, there was a real thrill in the air as controversies were pushed aside, and kids of all ages lined up for a glimpse of the nation's leader.

I ran into reporter Robert Napper as he returned from SRQ, about an hour after Air Force One had departed. Robert typically sports a great poker face, which always comes in quite handy for a cops reporter. But he was more relaxed, animated and, well, impressed. He had just been within five feet of Obama and witnessed a humbling moment of graciousness as the President thanked three decorated airmen for their service to their country. And he knew this memory would stay with him forever.

As Robert shared in this report today, the members of the Air Force also relished the moment. What a simple joy to hear their responses, like this one from Airman First Class Edward Walker: "I am going to call my mom. It is sure a pleasure to serve this great country.”

Here's to all things good about this country.

-- Joan

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