(WASHINGTON) — The papal visit officially started Wednesday morning when Pope Francis arrived at the White House.
People have been lining the streets of Washington D.C., hoping to catch a glimpse, since the very early hours of the morning.
President Obama was sure to welcome Pope Francis to “the people’s house” even before the pontiff arrived, sending out a tweet to his official account.
Same goes for the South Lawn of the White House, where there are 11,000 ticketed guests not including White House staff, military, volunteers or press, according to a White House spokesman. Prior to Wednesday, the White House had said they expected between 14,000 and 15,000 people.
Pope Francis stopped and greeted fans outside of the residence where he is staying before he got in the Fiat he is using during his Washington trip and headed over to the White House.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle greeted the pope when he arrived, a few minutes later than expected. The two men then proceeded to the podium on the South Lawn, standing side by side while the Holy See’s national anthem was played, followed by the American national anthem.
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