Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jacksonville Marks Day in the Life of a President

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jacksonville Marks Day in the Life of a President

Article excerpt

In between chants urging President Bush to abandon plans to invade Iraq, protesters outside Mayport Naval Station yesterday talked about the cooperative attitude of nearby law enforcement officers.

A handful of Jacksonville Sheriff's officers and military personnel was assigned to the intersection where the demonstration was held. When protesters were reminded to stay on the sidewalks or park their cars in the designated area, the officers remained cordial.

So, after nearly two hours of leading the group in anti-war chants, including "honk for peace" and "Bush! No more war," a man with a bullhorn started a new one. Soon others joined him in shouting, "Good cops, more doughnuts!"

'Jack is Back'

While applauding the sailors, their families and civilians, the president commended the resurgence of the USS John F. Kennedy and its successful deployment in support of the war on terrorism. The aircraft carrier, now being overhauled, was much maligned for a failed maintenance inspection that prompted the removal of the ship's captain and a delayed deployment.

"With outstanding performance, you proved that 'Jack is Back,' " he said, referring to one of the Kennedy's nicknames.

The Kennedy crew also donned T-shirts reading "Jack is Back" during sea trials in February 2002 before heading to the north Arabian Sea.

Sibling rivalry

The reunion of the Bush brothers provided several moments of lighthearted taunting.

At the small business forum, the president teased Gov. Jeb Bush about turning 50 this week.

"Fifty is not quite as old as it seemed to be, is it?" the president asked his brother. He went on.

"Actually, I had coffee with Mother and Dad this morning, and Mother said to make sure I told Jeb she loved him, still."

At Mayport, President Bush thanked his brother for his leadership in Florida.

"He's doing everything just like his mother told him to," the president said. "I'm listening to the same mother, I want you to know."

Prime location

Although Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lopez said he didn't get close enough to shake the president's hand, the USS Klakring sailor still had one of the best seats in the house: second row of bleachers just behind the commander in chief. …

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