Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day 2 - The Arrival

Even though we have credentials, it doesn't allow us access to the venues. It alerts security that we are a legitimate media outlet covering the Pope. Therefore, we were not positioned at Andrews Air Force Base when he arrived. We were, however, right outside of the Vatican Embassy, where he will be staying. Hundreds of people lined the streets there. Many of them Hispanics from San Antonio, Dallas, California and Minneapolis. They held signs, waved flags and sang. They brought drums, tambourines and guitars. They chanted "Benedicto". And then...there were the protesters. The signs denouncing the Bible and those yelling about priests and pedophiles. But, there were more supporters out there than opponents. When he arrived there was a motorcade of Metro police, I couldn't see the Pope at all because there were huge tour buses in the way and tons of people. He arrived moments before our 5 o'clock live shot. We were sharing time with our sister station NY-1 and they wanted to get on live as soon as possible, but it was finally our turn. I met a woman who grew up in Greensboro who lives across the street from the Embassy and she was just so excited to watch. Then was also a guy from Charlotte. He wasn't Catholic but he wanted to try and see the Pope because as he called it, "He's a famous guy, he's a celebrity." I heard on a local station here that Pope Benedict XVI didn't want a large crowd or a big deal surrounding his trip because it was more about faith than him. Too late...one of the gift shops is selling Pope bobble heads.

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