Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Hug

U.S. first lady Laura Bush (R) applauds while her guest [Iraqi voter] Safia Taleb al-Souhail comforts Janet Norwood (C), whose son, Marine Corps Sergeant Byron Norwood of Pflugerville, Texas was killed during the assault on Fallujah, as the Marine was honored during U.S. President George W. Bush State of the Union address in the House Chamber in Washington February 2, 2005. REUTERS/Larry Downing


SAWYER: It was such a moving moment for everyone, including clearly the president, in the room last night. Safia al-Suhail, whose father had been killed under Saddam, and who had held up her finger with ink on it to show she had voted for the first time in her life, was sitting in front of you.
First, did you know she would be there? And did you know you were going to lean over [and hug her]?

MRS. NORWOOD: No. We had no idea who was going to be there. We met as we went in the door [to the gallery]. She turned around and introduced herself. I asked her if her finger was purple and she held it up and showed me that it was. And I just grabbed her finger.

It would have made our son so proud to see the success of elections in Iraq.

MR. NORWOOD: We didn't know about her dad until something was mentioned. But it certainly enhanced our opinion of her. She was a very, very fine person.

MRS. NORWOOD: She thanked us for our son's sacrifice and made sure we knew that the people of Iraq were grateful for the sacrifices that were made, not just by our son, but by all of them.

SAWYER: And what did you say to her?

MRS. NORWOOD: I just told her how happy we were that the elections were successful and told her that our son would have been pleased.

MR. NORWOOD: Byron really believed that the Iraqi people deserved a chance to take ownership of the concept of freedom. And they certainly proved that they can do that now. So he would have been very pleased.

Hat Tip: Conservative Life

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