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Left to Right: Delroy Bent came on the train from Brampton. Carol Ann Poulin drove from Pembroke. Gesklin Etienne drove from Montreal. None of them had met before this morning but Poulim introduced them as her friends as they waited by the barrier on the lawn of Parliament Hill.
The U.S. President's visit promises to be well-watched -- some 570 Canadian press and 80 members of the U.S. press have been accredited. There are 90 Canadian flags and 90 U.S. flags positioned at various locations on Parliament Hill. In consideration of the "working nature" of the visit, both leaders agreed not to exchange gifts.
The President will be treated to a tune on the Peace Tower bells when he arrives on the Hill. Dominion Carillonneur Andrea McCrady will play 'America the Beautiful' as he steps out of the motorcade. Over lunch, she will play a carillon concert featuring One in the Spirit; Once to Every Man and Nation; Lift Ev'ry Voice; and America the Beautiful. Bruce Campion-Smith
Yes, Mother Nature served up some stereotypes today with a snowy day for U.S. President Barack Obama and the cadre of American press tagging along with him. "A great Canadian day," one RCMP officer said with a smile as she stood watch on the Hill.
No, not the resume, the laminate. Early this morning in Washington, White House aides handed us each a big chunky (collection-worthy) plasticized press pass bearing our mug shot, the seal of the President, and the words "Trip of the President to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada February 19, 2009." Here in Ottawa, we were given the Canadian credential -- a bland wallet-size card with no reference to where or when, just the word "Media." Okay, it has both flags on it -- one my American fellow travelers suggests it might be leftover from the batch made for Bush's last visit.
Unimportant? You betcha. Should you care? No. Why are we telling you? Just trying to keep thumbs limber as we await the arrival of Air Force One.