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Really Feeling Her Pain

Bush pauses to comfort teen

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

During his visit to the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, President Bush stops to hug Ashley Faulkner, who lost her mom in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Photo by Lynn Faulkner

In a moment largely unnoticed by the throngs of people in Lebanon waiting for autographs from the president of the United States, George W. Bush stopped to hold a teenager's head close to his heart.

Lynn Faulkner, his daughter, Ashley, and their neighbor, Linda Prince, eagerly waited to shake the president's hand Tuesday at the Golden Lamb Inn. He worked the line at a steady campaign pace, smiling, nodding and signing autographs until Prince spoke:

"This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9-11."

Bush stopped and turned back.

"He changed from being the leader of the free world to being a father, a husband and a man," Faulkner said. "He looked right at her and said, 'How are you doing?' He reached out with his hand and pulled her into his chest."

Faulkner snapped one frame with his camera.

"I could hear her say, 'I'm OK,' " he said. "That's more emotion than she has shown in 21/2 years. Then he said, 'I can see you have a father who loves you very much.' "

"And I said, 'I do, Mr. President, but I miss her mother every day.' It was a special moment."

Special for Lynn Faulkner because the Golden Lamb was the place he and his wife, Wendy Faulkner, celebrated their anniversary every year until she died in the south tower of the World Trade Center, where she had traveled for business.

The day was also special for Ashley, a 15-year-old Mason High School student, because the visit was reminiscent of a trip she took four years ago with her mother and Prince. They spent all afternoon in the rain waiting to see Bush on the campaign trail. Ashley remembers holding her mother's hand, eating Triscuits she packed and bringing along a book in case she got bored.

But this time was different. She understood what the president was saying, and she got close enough to see him face to face.

"The way he was holding me, with my head against his chest, it felt like he was trying to protect me," Ashley said. "I thought, 'Here is the most powerful guy in the world, and he wants to make sure I'm safe.' I definitely had a couple of tears in my eyes, which is pretty unusual for me."

[You can only wonder the ink this would get if it were Clinton. -Ed]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Really Feeling Her Pain:

» KevinDonahue.com linked with Father in chief

» Pardon My English linked with "A Father, A Husband and a Man"

» Right Moment linked with Two More Images.

» Babalu Blog linked with Because he is a good man.

Comments (7)

It's nice that he cares, bu... (Below threshold)

It's nice that he cares, but that photo! Her face is crammed into his armpit. Gah!

Notice how much Bush has ag... (Below threshold)

Notice how much Bush has aged in four years! I know that this is typical of U.S. presidents, but it never ceases to amaze me.

We don't see too many candid close ups like this. It really shows the deep lines on his face. His hair has lost a lot of color, too.

Check the 2001 photo on the White House Web site:


Let the record show I beat ... (Below threshold)

Let the record show I beat drudge by like 4 hours. and yes I do want my cookie. LOL

One chocolate chip macadami... (Below threshold)

One chocolate chip macadamia nut, coming up.

Nice post.

I don't suppose I'll be seeing this picture on the front page of my local paper :-/

I wonder how long it will b... (Below threshold)

I wonder how long it will be before certain parties start wailing about President Bush "using a child's pain for political purposes."

I just had someone post thi... (Below threshold)

I just had someone post this link on my comments section regarding this photo:


It is a foundation in memory of Ashley Faulkner's mother, Wendy.

Echoing the sentiment from ... (Below threshold)

Echoing the sentiment from harvey .. why dont we see this kind of stuff if our press is not biased? why does it have to go out to the net to get seen ... Hmmm one must ask ...






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