President's Visit Excites Folks in Statesboro - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/30/06

President's Visit Excites Folks in Statesboro

The president arrived aboard Marine One. The president arrived aboard Marine One.

Whether they saw the president speak or not, it was a day that residents in Statesboro won't soon forget. President Bush's visit shut down streets and gave many people a chance to play hooky, to get a look at history.

The lines wrapped around campus, thousands of people waiting for a chance to get inside the Hanner Field House. A chance to be part of history.

"How many times in your life can you say you can watch the president?" said Georgia Southern student Amanda Webb.

"I want to see him and see what he has to say, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said GSU student Kiona Lively.

It's an opportunity many, like the Garon family, couldn't pass up. They came all the way from Augusta.

"It's a very patriotic thing to do," said Janet Garon. "They love their president, wanted to see him in person."

Amy Nease brought four kids to the speech. She says the day was a real-life political lesson for her girls."We're out to support the president," she told us. "Out to support the Republican party."

But while the Neases made it inside, hundreds more were left standing in the sun, their dreams shattered.

"I'm sweaty, I'm angry," said student Lacie Smith. "I don't know what to say. He could make two speeches, they would be great."

So they had to settle for listening to a speech inside a satellite truck, and looking at the president through a car window.

But most of the people there say seeing him at all made their trip worthwhile.

"It was an amazing opportunity," according to Carol Calhoun, who brought all five of her children to see the president leave. "I was closer to the President than the children inside were. It was awesome. Something we'll tell them and they'll tell their grandchildren. We saw the president of the United States."

Reported by: Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

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