The Time George W. Bush, then Presidential Hopeful, Kept his Promise to My Son

parker Higgins and George W. Bush

In late autumn last year, my son and Gettysburg College Freshman Parker Higgins spent an active and picturesque weekend afternoon with two friends on the grounds of the Gettysburg battlefield. Skateboarding to the summit of Little Round Top (the high ground of the battlefield overlooking the wheat field where Picket made his ill-fated charge), he thought he had the beautiful view all to himself, when he spotted two imposing snipers carrying long-range rifles, one to his right and the other to his left.

Yes, you read correctly. Snipers. “Yikes,” he thought and asked them what was going on. They said “nothing.” Then, he asked them if it was all right for him to be there. And they said, “yes, it was OK”. At that point, a caravan of cars and SUV’s pulled up and out of one, jumped …President Bush! He walked straight over to Parker, shook hands and asked “did you come up all the way to the top on that board?”

The former president was touring the battlefield for the first time, having flown by Marine Corps One from Camp David with friends and family. He and Parker exchanged some memorable – and fun – insights about the area, including a special salute to Veterans Advantage - “be sure to tell your parents thank you for everything they do for veterans.”

Anyway, back to the promise – the President promised to send a signed photo of Parker’s chance encounter. We wondered if it ever would arrive, especially since inauguration day had come and gone. But true to his promise, President Bush delivered with a signed photograph. 

From Our Member Community

A history of Arlington National Cemetery Military & Veterans Life Cover Story: History of Arlington National Cemetery Perfectly aligned white marble tombstones dot green hills like pearls, strung together by memories of fallen military members. That’s the sight at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, DC, which is the resting place for more than 400,000 veterans and their dependents over approximately 640 acres on the Potomac River. This Memorial Day we remember the fallen soldiers buried at Arlington and across the nation. And this Saturday Arlington hosts the inaugural Flowers of Remembrance Day, where the public can bring flowers to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay tribute to the sacrifice of so many veterans. 

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