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THE NATION

Public Comes Home Again for Annual Easter Egg Roll

April 02, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush welcomed thousands of children and their parents to the White House on Monday for the Easter Egg Roll--the first time the public had been invited inside the gates since September.

"Laura and I are so glad that you came this year, especially given what happened last year," the president told the crowd, recalling showers that forced the cancellation of last April's event and sent dripping children and parents inside for a tour instead.

"This is your home and you are welcome to the yard of your home," Bush said. The grounds had been closed to the general public since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11.

This year's egg roll, in which young children raced to the finish line while pushing eggs with a spoon, took place on a bright, windy day.

Swarms of excited parents ushered wide-eyed children in pastel dresses and Easter suits from activity to activity on the South Lawn, pointing and snapping photos--some in front of an enormous jellybean mosaic of the president's face.

Mrs. Bush and several members of the Cabinet took turns throughout the day reading to children.

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