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Bush family lands in Hagerstown enroute to Camp David

December 24, 2005|By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Former President George H.W. Bush, his wife Barbara, their twin granddaughters and their dog landed at Hagerstown Regional Airport on Thursday as they made their way to Camp David for Christmas.

Airport Manager Carolyn Motz confirmed the Bush family flew in on a business jet Thursday afternoon.

"It was a thrill," said Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson, who was at the airport and saw the Bushes land. "It was interesting. Very, very interesting."

Munson said the Bush family arrived at the airport at about 3:50 p.m.

Munson said former President Bush briefly entered the airport building and that he was able to see Barbara Bush and President George W. Bush's daughters, Barbara and Jenna.

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"They were right outside the holding area," Munson said.

According to The Associated Press, the Bush family is spending Christmas at Camp David. President Bush flew on Marine One to the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains on Thursday.

Portions of Catoctin Mountain Park closed Thursday at 9 a.m. The areas are expected to remain closed through Monday at noon, according to a written statement from the park.

On Christmas Eve, the Bushes were to attend a candlelight service at the Camp David chapel alongside the military families stationed there, said Susan Whitson, a spokeswoman for the first lady. Children from those families were staging an annual Christmas pageant that the president and his family planned to attend, Whitson said.

A traditional dinner, prepared by workers in the Navy mess at Camp David, was planned for Christmas Day.

It has been Bush's custom to spend Christmas at Camp David since it spares the White House residence staff from having to work the holiday. Waiting to depart for Texas until the day after Christmas also prevents the aides who must travel with the president from being away from their families on the holiday, according to the AP.

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