'Thrill of a Lifetime' to See Obama
Some Robbinsdale Cooper High School students performed for the president on their last day of school.
President Barack Obama greeted an enthusiastic crowd on Friday at Honeywell in Golden Valley while on a quick trip through the Twin Cities.
The crowd of at least 200 arrived with smiles and cameras in hand. The audience, which was mostly made up of Honeywell employees, waited for the President to speak from the floor they work on every day.
"It's not often you get to see the president at work," Rich Pearson, a Honeywell employee from Vadnais Heights, said with a chuckle. "There has been a lot of excitement about his arrival all week. Everybody has been talking about it."
Obama spoke to the crowd from a podium that was just feet away from heavy pieces of machinery Honeywell uses to create gadgets used to promote energy efficiency.
"It's an honor to have President Obama here," said Mary Peterson, a Honeywell employee from Anoka. The machine services worker came to work at 6 a.m. to make sure she could be in the crowd, which was determined on a first-come, first-serve basis.
She wasn't the only one willing to wait for hours to catch a glimpse of the President. A steady trickle of people filled the factory floor all morning. Media crews were on site at 4 a.m. to have live trucks set up. Once inside, people stood along metal barricades for hours to make sure they were in good picture-taking range of the president.
The Robbinsdale Cooper Chamber Singers had a good line of sight. The group of 24 singers found out late Wednesday they would sing the National Anthem at the event.
“When I found out we were singing, I couldn’t believe it,” Senior Adrian Whitney said. Friday is the last day of school for seniors at Cooper High School. “I can’t think of a better way to spend my last day at school,” she said. “It’s not just a memorable experience, it’s a thrill of a lifetime.”
Obama spoke for about 30 minutes to the tightly packed crowd. After he spoke, he shook a few hands in the crowd and was whisked away in the motorcade.