Gray sky, chilly air and pouring rain did not dampen the sprit
of an enthusiastic crowd Dec. 17 as they awaited the arrival of the
event’s most anticipated guest speaker. President George W.
Bush was scheduled to address the crowd at the Wright Brothers
National Memorial on Dec. 17, the last day of the yearlong
centennial of flight celebration.
Around 9:20 a.m., the thunderous roar of five Marine Corps
helicopters cut through the sounds of patriotic music, crowd noise
and the reverberation of public-service announcements. Heads turned
toward the aircraft above the tree line just west of the stage.
Despite miserable weather and rumors he would not show, the
president had arrived.
Following an introduction by Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton,
the president took the
The Lawson family was flying home for the holidays. Instead,
what's left of the family now mourns four people killed when their
single-engine Piper went down near Brooklyn (IA) Wednesday.
Family members confirm Larry Lawson, 55, died in Wednesday night's
accident. Lawson had been a volunteer firefighter in Altoona since
about 1975. Other victims include Lawson's daughter, Lisa Lawson,
25, and his brother, Danny Lawson, 55, who was the pilot. The
fourth person was Lisa Lawson's friend.