.- Shepherd One landed right on time this afternoon, bringing Pope Benedict XVI to the United States for the first time. President Bush, Laura Bush and their daughter Jenna paid Pope Benedict the honor of meeting him at the airportâthe first time Bush has done so for a head of state.
The Pontiff was greeted by an honor guard of military servicemen and a crowd of 5,000 military family members.
After waving to the crowd, the Pope was transported via motorcade to the house of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi. Normally, President Bush takes Marine One to the Andrews Air Force Base, but due to the scale of the preparations for tomorrowâs record crowd of 12,000 people at the White House, using the helicopter became impossible.
Pope Benedict will reside at the Apostolic Nunciature while in Washington and will receive an official welcome from the president on Wednesday morning at 10:30 EST.
To read commentary on the Pope's arrival read "Nothing Left Unsaid".