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Bush lands in Hagerstown

February 02, 2001

Bush lands in Hagerstown



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


President Bush stopped at Hagerstown Regional Airport on Friday afternoon for his first visit as president to Camp David.

"I'm thrilled. It didn't take President Bush long to get here after he was inaugurated," said Airport Manager Carolyn Motz.

As the blue and white Air Force One landed shortly before 3 p.m., Motz watched from her white SUV dubbed "Airport One."

Bush and his entourage got off the Gulfstream III jet and onto three Blackhawk helicopters that took him to Camp David in Frederick County, Md.

The brief visit surprised a group of CSX conductors on their way home from a month-long engineering training session in Cumberland, Md.

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The group watched the action on the runway from large windows in the terminal, but were too far away to get a glimpse of Bush. They were happy nonetheless.

"From where we're from, you don't often get to see something like that," said Mike Blanten, 30, of Columbus, Ga.

Sherry Alday, 40, of Chattahoochee, Fla., said it was the first time she's watched a president land. When she was in Cumberland, it was the first time she saw snow.

"I think he should have come in and said 'hi' to us," said Andee Lee, 39, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Hagerstown airport is no stranger to presidents, especially those named Bush. George and Barbara Bush were frequent visitors, Motz said.

Motz can only remember one visit from President Clinton. Hillary Clinton came through a handful of times.

The U.S. Secret Service handles the extensive security required, she said.

Earlier Friday, Bush addressed Republican members of Congress at a retreat in Williamsburg, Va. Before stopping in Hagerstown, he landed at Andrews Air Force Base, according to the Associated Press.

After an abbreviated weekend at Camp David with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Bush will fly on Sunday to Farmington, Pa., near Pittsburgh, where House Democrats are meeting at a mountain resort.

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