by Michael WeismeyerWritten on March 12, 2007
Tonight I went to the Music Center in LA to hear the 41st President of the United States, George H. W. Bush speak. When you walked through the door, you could get a slip on which to ask a question that might be asked during the Q & A session after his talk. So I wrote one down. About half way through President Bush's speech, which was very interesting and funny, an usher came to me and said my question had been selected and to come with her. I was taken down from high in the balcony where I was sitting to outside the front of the auditorium. I was told that I would get to ask my question of the President. In the meantime, I got a much better seat near the front.
Finally, it was time for the questions. The first person asked his question and then it was my turn. I asked, "What advice would you give to young people who believe in their country but are in an environment filled with disillusionment?" He answered by saying to ignore the disillusionment. He said compare the US to other countries. People are lining up to come here, and the United States is the greatest country in the world. This got a lot of applause, including from me.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to say thank you because as the applause died down, a man stood up and started yelling about why President Bush didn't pass on his values to the current President and essentially yelling about the Iraq War. The audience was not pleased with this outburst. The moderator, a NPR reporter, said this was a forum for asking questions not yelling. President Bush asked where his cane was (so he could whack the man I assume) and then gave a defense of his son by saying that the current President is a good and honest man who calls things as he sees them. Security came and took the yelling man out. Things proceeded for a few more minutes before another man started yelling. This time someone in the audience yelled out for the person to sit down and shut up, which got some applause. Security came and took this second yelling man out as well. President Bush was very classy throughout the whole thing as was the audience (except for those two men) and the NPR reporter.
Tonight on the news, the ABC, CBS, and NBC stations covered the speech with a clip from the beginning when President Bush described his fainting spell yesterday. He had been playing a little golf in the heat out in the desert and fainted at the house of a friend. He said the worst part was that when he came to, he was getting mouth-to-mouth from a male friend when there were six beautiful women standing around.
All in all, I'm very glad I went tonight, even if it didn't get me closer to finishing my 500+ page book that I have to read in the next couple of days. It was nice to be able to ask a question of the former President and get to hear one of our American heroes speak.
An alum of Southern Adventist University, La Sierra University and Loma Linda Academy, Michael is now pursuing a Ph.D. in History at UCLA.