Two Presidents and an Arival Ceremony


Last Monday, a friend gave me a ticket to see the Arrival Ceremony forJohn Kufour, who is the President of Ghana, and Mrs. Theresa Kufour on the South Lawn of the White House. The welcoming committee? President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush.

It was amazing! Beginning at 8:55am (I had to get there at 7:30 to get a good standing spot), the military band played a few tunes then played “Hail to the Chief.” Everyone knows what that means…the President is coming! I was so excited. I had seen the President once before a few weeks ago, but I did not have a good view of him and only saw him for a short time.

After playing the National Anthem of the Republic of Ghana and the National Anthem of the United States (for which, by the way, President Bush placed his hand over his heart in respect and honor for the flag, anthem, and our beloved country), President Bush shared a few remarks about our growing relationship with Ghana and how we are helping Ghana financially, economically, and medically. Next, President Kufour gave a short speech in which he spoke of the many ways that the United States has helped Ghana and how he is grateful for the support we have shown them.

I enjoyed both speeches for their humor and positive outcomes, but I most enjoyed President Bush’s remarks about the upcoming elections in both countries, “Ghana is now in the middle of a lively election season” he says, “[There is] spirited debate…[close-cut] contests, (pause) which sounds kinda familiar.” Later, he said, “And so I welcome you here. Laura and I are looking forward to having you to dinner tonight. I promise not to unleash the dance moves that I first displayed in Ghana, in what was one of the most memorable trips of my presidency.”

I also liked President Kufour’s remark, “Ghana is very grateful for the friendship she is enjoying from the United States. And I, personally, am very happy and appreciate your friendship so far, and I look forward to a good and productive retirement, just as I wish for you, as you go into retirement.”

President Bush responded with a big grin, “Thank you, sir.”

Then, the President of Ghana said something that really touched me and made me sad. He said, “You have been good and I hope history will judge you well.”

When President Kufour said that, all that came to mind were all the wonderful stories I have heard about and seen with my own eyes that exemplify President Bush’s godly character and sweet spirit and then, in contrast, all the hateful, bitter, cruel things people say about President Bush.

I wonder what happened to the American people between 9/11 and now. What changed? In 2001, most everyone loved President Bush. He received countless emails, phone calls, and letters from Americans showing their support for his godly leadership. Then, something happened. Now, people go so far as to send him coffins. Tell me, why do people HATE Bush? If you disagree with his policies, fine; I can accept that. But hate him? What did he, in and of himself–alone, do that was so terrible?

As President Kufour said that he hoped history would judge President Bush well, I wondered if it would. I wonder if people will look back on this era and see the good that was done or just the bad that remains obscure even to this day.

At any rate, I loved the ceremony. I still cannot believe that I saw the President! Many thanks go to my friend for going through the immense trouble of getting me a ticket. What a neat opportunity!

Me on the South Lawn of the White House
Me on the South Lawn of the White House
President John Kufour and President George W. Bush
President John Kufour and President George W. Bush


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