First Lady Laura Bush visits airbase in Germany
22 February 2005, RAMSTEIN - US First Lady Laura Bush visited a US military hospital and airbase in Germany on Tuesday, a day in advance of President George W. Bush's one-day trip to the country.
22 February 2005
RAMSTEIN - US First Lady Laura Bush visited a US military hospital and airbase in Germany on Tuesday, a day in advance of President George W. Bush's one-day trip to the country.
To roars of applause from 2,500 military personnel and family members gathered in a cavernous hangar at Ramstein Air Base, she said the US military was doing "excellent service" all around the world to secure peace and liberty and successfully fight terrorism.
She said "Team Ramstein" had helped ensure that millions of people in Iraq and Afghanistan could vote freely for the first time and that girls could for the first time attend school.
"Germans and Americans share the same values," Bush added in a nod to the base's hosts.
Mrs Bush, who later departed by air for the German city of Wiesbaden, also visited 20 wounded personnel at Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre, a US hospital complex 5 kilometres from Ramstein that treats the sick and wounded from the Gulf War.
In Hangar I, waiting for Bush to deliver her speech, children waved small American flags while excited parents filmed the scene for posterity. The base visit concluded with a lunch for 30 wives of soldiers.
Mrs Bush was set to stay in a hotel in the German city of Mainz awaiting the arrival of her spouse early Wednesday for talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. She and Schroeder's wife, Doris Schroeder-Kopf, were to visit a museum on Wednesday.
Security measures include closing the Rhine river flowing past Mainz to shipping. The German Inland Shipping Federation BDB has criticised the closure, saying it was "exaggerated" and would mean EUR 500 million in losses to the trade.
Subject: German news