Ashley Simpson, the young girl who lost her mother on 9-11 at the World Trade Center and the focus of a Bush Election Ad, will be attending the inauguration this week…
In a moment largely unnoticed by the throngs of people in Lebanon waiting for autographs from the president of the United States, George W. Bush stopped to hold a teenager’s head close to his heart.
Lynn Faulkner, his daughter, Ashley, and their neighbor, Linda Prince, eagerly waited to shake the president’s hand Tuesday at the Golden Lamb Inn. He worked the line at a steady campaign pace, smiling, nodding and signing autographs until Prince spoke:
“This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9-11.”
Bush stopped and turned back.
“He changed from being the leader of the free world to being a father, a husband and a man,” Faulkner said. “He looked right at her and said, ‘How are you doing?’ He reached out with his hand and pulled her into his chest.”
Faulkner snapped one frame with his camera.
“I could hear her say, ‘I’m OK,’ ” he said. “That’s more emotion than she has shown in 21/2 years. Then he said, ‘I can see you have a father who loves you very much.’ ”
“And I said, ‘I do, Mr. President, but I miss her mother every day.’ It was a special moment.”