September 23, 2015
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The 11,000 ticketed guests and a cast of hundreds extra — military units, musicians and federal employees — who waited on the White House lawn to greet Pope Francis Sept. 23 were clearly there as fans of the visiting pope.
As the sun rose over a spectacularly blue September sky, a cross section of the U.S. population from across the country waited for hours for a welcoming ceremony that was over in a matter of minutes.
Blocks-long lines for security checkpoints stretched through closed-off streets in the hours before dawn. On the grounds of the White House and its adjacent buildings, yellow-and-white Vatican flags flew alongside the U.S. Stars and Stripes.