(WASHINGTON POST) — Pope Francis’s chartered Alitalia jet landed at Joint Base Andrews on Tuesday afternoon, with Vatican and American flags flying from the cockpit. The pope alighted from the plane to cheers under cloudy skies and a steady breeze that lifted the black robes of the awaiting bishops and kept the flags rippling on the tarmac.
Waiting for Francis: President Obama, who rarely greets arriving foreign dignitaries on the tarmac, where a pink carpet had been rolled out Tuesday, just minutes before the plane touched down, slightly ahead of schedule.
The president, the First Lady, their two daughters and the president’s mother-in-law stood waiting at the bottom of the stairs, where they shook hands with Francis. Their presence spoke to the widespread anticipation of the pope’s six-day, three-city visit to the United States.
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