Former Chief White House Photographer depicts time with President George W. Bush
Eric Draper www.usaukonline.com
Patrick Center February 26, 2014 | WGVU “I’ll never forget that day because it was a long emotional roller coaster of a day that started out in Washington D.C. with a prayer service at the National Cathedral. We flew to New York City. Inside the helicopter as we approached New York City you could smell the smoke from the fire. On the ground you could still feel the heat. And then the emotion from the firefighters I’ll never forget. They were tired, they were frustrated and they were angry. You could see that they were looking to the president for leadership like they wanted him to do something. They were hugging him saying, ‘Go get ‘em, George.’ You could feel that moment building to the bullhorn moment and the president really stepped up and delivered. And that was all just impromptu. He just delivered right on the spot. I remember I was front and center and there were so many people there but when he said those famous words, ‘I hear you. The world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear from all of us.’ The hair on my back stood up because I knew that was a historic moment. The crowd erupted and started chanting, ‘U.S.A, U.S.A.,’ and I knew he really hit it out of the park at that moment.”
I asked Draper if he thinks about how blessed he was to have been placed there with his talents and skills delivering an eight year, photographic history?
“When I got the job I knew it would be an incredible experience. I had no idea what the eight years would be like. All I tried to do was the job to the best of my ability and luckily I had pretty good background so I had something to bring to the job. But man it was just unbelievable some of the events that I witnessed and it was just so unpredictable, a lot of it, it was definitely a really unique situation to be in.”That was former Chief White House photographer Eric Draper talking about his book Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush.
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