Bush saluted the pope with a 21-gun salute, a soprano’s “Lord Prayer” and the well-wishes of a nation. There were almost 9,000 people in attendance, one of the largest, if not the largest gatherings ever on a White House lawn. The Pope’s birthday is during this visit and the 9,000 people along with the President sang him “Happy Birthday.”
President Bush told the pope, “You’ve chosen to visit America on your birthday. Well, birthdays are traditionally spent with close friends, so our entire nation is moved and honored that you have decided to share this special day with us,” said Bush.
His holiness has said his visit is aboutÂ peace and finding ways to end war.Â
The pope’s U.S. tour continues as he makes his way to New York’s Yankee Stadium for Mass on Sunday.