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August 31, 2004

Day Seven: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus

Sorry for the slight time delay here... but the realities of life and travel are not always going to match the realtime hunger of a Blog. Thanks so much, Bruce, for everything you've been doing!

Blog Day 7

Bloggers,

That's right a week on the bus! Wow. I can't believe that it's nearly over. I've been asked to stay over a day to do some media in NYC so I'll actually have 8 days, but we ended up in NYC at city hall for a three pm press conference.

They fed us in city hall and then we went outside for the media event. I was pretty nervous about my speech and especially nervous about the fact that they wanted me to introduce Senator Chuck Schumer. I thought I would print what I said. The only part that doesn't work well on a blog was the part where I really choked up telling my wheelchair ramp story, but my friends on the tour got me through it. So here's my speech:

Continue reading "Day Seven: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus"

Posted by bruce roemmelt at 12:19 PM | Comments (1)

August 28, 2004

Day Six: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus


Blog day six

Today we had events in Scranton and Philadelphia. There were again some amazing stories of pain and heroism.

I have been honored to speak for all 70 real people tomorrow when we do our final NYC event. It dawned on me that this trip is really about the stories that I have been transcribing for the past six days.

So tonight I want to just let those stories tell the tale...

Continue reading "Day Six: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus"

Posted by bruce roemmelt at 11:46 PM | Comments (2)

Thoughts from Brigadier General Pat Foote (Ret.)

I met BG Foote in Newport News on my day riding the America Can Do Better Bus Tour as a photographer and blogger for the DNC. After hearing her powerful words on the trip, I asked if she would take time out of her busy schedule to share on DocDem some of what she told audiences this past Monday. Thank you, General Foote, for sending this today, and we hope to see more of you here in the future! -Aaron

My name is Pat Foote. I am an Army veteran who served for 30 years, had a tour in Vietnam in 1968, and was privileged to command soldiers at company, battalion, brigade and major installation levels. This past week, I had the wonderful experience of riding with a great group of Americans on the America Can Do Better Bus Tour. I joined the tour at its first stop -- Newport News -- rode on with the tour to Richmond, then had to leave because of other commitments back home in the Kerry-Edwards campaign. I rejoined the tour yesterday for the Harrisburg visit and enjoyed a great reunion with my many new friends as we rallied at the state capitol. It was a day to remember.

Many have asked why I am so actively supporting John Kerry and John Edwards in their campaign to win back the White House. Certainly, I am not doing this as a military officer or for that matter, simply because I am a veteran with deep concerns about how veterans and members of the armed forces are faring in these difficult days. I am acting as a citizen who has a vote and is deeply concerned as well as angered over the direction President Bush and his administration have taken the United States in four short years.

Continue reading "Thoughts from Brigadier General Pat Foote (Ret.)"

Posted by amahler at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)

Day Six: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus

Blog day six

Today we had events in Scranton and Philadelphia. There were again some amazing stories of pain and heroism.

I have been honored to speak for all 70 real people tomorrow when we do our final NYC event. It dawned on me that this trip is really about the stories that I have been transcribing for the past six days.

So tonight I want to just let those stories tell the tale...

Continue reading "Day Six: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus"

Posted by amahler at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2004

Day Five: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus

Blog Day 5

This morning we got a little gift. We got to sleep late (8:00 am) and rest up. I've been on the trip since day 1 and the little time off was most appreciated.

Today's schedule takes us to us to Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and overnighting in Scranton. Tomorrow will find us doing an event in Scranton and Philadelphia prior to our grand entry across the Hudson to NYC.

The Pittsburgh stop was very well attended. Although he tour is primarily a meet the media event we were deluged with requests for buttons, posters, bumper stickers and other campaign paraphernalia. We occasionally were able to share an America Can Do Better sign but little else.

I've also found out that these yellow fire fighter shirts are like gold. Lots of people want one and I just don't have the resources to help everyone now. But we were treated to a stem winder speech by Ann Lewis, former Deputy Communications Director in the Clinton White House. She was on fire and really wound up the crowd and the real people too.

Continue reading "Day Five: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus"

Posted by bruce roemmelt at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

DNC Bus Day Five: Contributed Photos


DNC Bus Tour: Pennsylvania - Aug 27, 2004

Here are the photos from the fifth day that were sent to me this evening from our friends on the DNC bus. As with previous nights, I'm unsure of the who took which shots, so I credit them to everyone on the bus. :)

- Aaron


Posted by amahler at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)

DNC Bus: Photos from Natalie Tennant in WV


DNC Bus Tour: Charleston, WV - Aug 25, 2004 - Medium Quality Photos (faster)

In the wake of the DNC Bus through Charleston, WV, Natalie Tennant sent me an email with four photos and this note:

This is 2-year old Delaney Wells campaining for her Daddy, Erik Wells who is the Democratic candidate in the Second District for Congress. Delaney also got up on stage where she could be hear yelling "Vote Daddy, Vote Daddy!"

Erik's website is www.votewells.com

Thank you,
Natalie Tennant

And our thanks to you, Natalie, Erik, and Delaney! ;)

Posted by amahler at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

DNC Bus Day Four: Contributed Photos

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DNC Bus Tour: Ohio to Pennsylvania - Aug 26, 2004 - High Quality Photos (slower)


DNC Bus Tour: Ohio to Pennsylvania - Aug 26, 2004 - Medium Quality Photos (faster)

Here are the photos from the fourth day that were sent to me this evening from our friends on the DNC bus. As with last night, I'm unsure of the who took what, so I credit them to everyone on the bus. :)

Some fun stuff in here, so enjoy!
- Aaron


Posted by amahler at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2004

Day Four: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus

Bloggers,

American Can Do Better Bus Tour

Hey folks. Here we are on Day 4. The odyssey continues and more stories of difficult times and a promise unfulfilled in America continue.

We're picking up people and momentum. Today we did Youngstown Ohio (actually Niles a small burg near by) where the United Steel workers have been locked out of work for 10 months! More about that in a minute.

Continue reading "Day Four: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus"

Posted by bruce roemmelt at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2004

Day Three: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus

Bloggers,

What a day! Three stops and the special treat stopping in the after noon for ice cream on the road. We are now about 40 "real people" we picked up several new folks today and tomorrow we will need to increase the size of the caravan to three busses. The media and TWO real people carriers. The anticipation of everyone is that by the time we pull into the Big Apple will have three real people carriers! We'll see.

Since there are so many folks on the bus now I thought we would spend a lot of time on profiles tonight. But first the travelogue...

Continue reading "Day Three: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus"

Posted by bruce roemmelt at 11:28 PM | Comments (1)

DNC Bus Day Three: Contributed Photos

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DNC Bus Tour: Charleston & Parkersburg, WV - Aug 25, 2004 - High Quality Photos (slower)


DNC Bus Tour: Charleston & Parkersburg, WV - Aug 25, 2004 - Medium Quality Photos (faster)

Here are the photos dispatched to me this evening from our friends on the DNC bus. As with last night, I'm unsure of the who took what, so I credit them to everyone on the bus. :)

Some fun stuff in here, so enjoy!
- Aaron



Posted by amahler at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

DNC Bus Day Two: Contributed Photos

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DNC Bus Tour: Beckley, WV - Aug 24, 2004 - High Quality Photos (slower)


DNC Bus Tour: Beckley, WV - Aug 24, 2004 - Medium Quality Photos (faster)

Here is a batch of photos forwarded to me from Bruce Roemmelt to accomany his entry tonight (see below). When I asked Rob who should be credited, he replied that his camera bounced all around between staff and passengers today. So, I'm going to credit them to pretty much everybody on the bus until somebody claims specific shots. :)

Enjoy!

Posted by amahler at 01:21 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2004

Day Two: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus


Bloggers,

10:00am
Day two on the tour started in Lynchburg after a nice breakfast and some final goodbyes to the crew at the Holiday Inn. One of the things we did there is ask all the local people if they were registered to vote and if they would consider voting for Kerry/Edwards. We had several successes.

As I stated yesterday this is really a campaign tour, and there are two sets of folks here. Staff that makes sure everything gets done, the press is contacted, and that rooms, luggage and meals are taken care of. Then there's the group referred to as the "real people". That's us, people with stories to tell and energy to make a difference, the folks for Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Continue reading "Day Two: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus"

Posted by bruce roemmelt at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

DNC Bus: Lynchburg Event

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DNC Bus Tour: Lynchburg - Aug 24, 2004 - High Quality Photos (slower)


DNC Bus Tour: Lynchburg - Aug 24, 2004 - Medium Quality Photos (faster)


Sadly, I said farewell to my friends on the bus this morning (including Rob Daniel who joined them from here in Lynchburg - look for his journal entries in the coming days).

The event in Lynchburg this morning was fantasic. As before, I'm going to leave the details to those who are on the bus to tell in their own words... but I do have a batch of photos to share. Enjoy!

- Aaron

Posted by amahler at 02:34 PM | Comments (0)

August 23, 2004

Day One: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus

Bloggers,

Day one - in the beginning

Slept badly and up at 0400. Coffee and packing for 7 days and then Beth gets me to National Airport. I don't call it Reagan because it could get confused with 150 other places of the same name in DC.

Flying a puddle jumper to Norfolk and then to be picked up by Dennis George, and other retired fire fighter who worked for Newport News. The IAFF network is in high function mode. Call a guy and get a ride from the airport to the Park where the kick off will be.

Continue reading "Day One: Bruce Roemmelt on the DNC Bus"

Posted by bruce roemmelt at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

ACDB Tour: Richmond to Lynchburg

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DNC Bus Tour: Richmond to Lynchburg - Aug 23, 2004 - High Quality Photos (slower)


DNC Bus Tour: Richmond to Lynchburg - Aug 23, 2004 - Medium Quality Photos (faster)


Well, I'm home again after a very enjoyable day on the DNC's America Can Do Better bus tour. It just so happened that their destination for the night (and tomorrow's event) is Lynchburg, fifteen minutes south of my home in Sweet Briar. I wish I was rolling on with this great group of new and old friends and fellow Democrats all the way to NYC, but I'm glad I at least had this chance to hitch a ride across the beautiful Commonwealth today. On the homefront, though, I've got a few roles to play in the grand opening celebration of our local regional Democratic headquarters this week... lots to do.

Tomorrow morning I'll dash into town to photograph the Lynchburg event and wish the group farewell as they roll through four more states. This isn't goodbye, though, since we're keeping close ties to the group as they submit posts right here to Documenting Democracy and on the DNC's blog for the rest of the trip. Rob Daniel, a friend from right here in Lynchburg, climbs aboard tomorrow and will be sending us his photos from the road as well.

I've attached the photos that pick up where I left off from my previous entry earlier today. Lt. Governor Tim Kaine met us in Richmond to greet the bus and give some opening remarks and introductions for the afternoon event. My role here is mostly that of visual storyteller, though, so have a look at the photos and check back here in a bit for thoughts and words from the folks at the heart of this journey...

- Aaron

Posted by amahler at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

Bruce Roemmelt's Speech in Newport News

I'm Bruce Roemmelt, and I'm a Virginian. I live on Bull Run Mountain in Prince William County about 20 miles northwest of Manassas. I'm kind of a two-fer on this bus tour. I retired after 23 years in the Fire Department in Prince William and I'm going to talk about public safety issues in this tour, but today I want to comment on how "America can do better" and why my candidate for President John Kerry is the one to make that happen.

It's so weird to me to be here. I was in the Navy a long time ago. I was in the crash crew of the flight deck of the air craft carrier the USS Intrepid. In February 1969 we came back to Norfolk from a tour in Vietnam through that water right over there. I was in my dress whites on the deck, with the fire boats spraying colored water - many of you here have seen that sight hundreds of times, but what you couldn't see were the tears in my eyes. I was no hero - no medals, but I had paid some dues, but more importantly one of my friends Bobby Lee Spencer had made the ultimate sacrifice. He died in our hands as a result of a crash on the fight deck trying to recover a damaged A-4 Skyhawk in September of 68. I sobbed because the war was pointless. Bobby's death was pointless.

Continue reading "Bruce Roemmelt's Speech in Newport News"

Posted by amahler at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

Greetings from I-64

Select photos by your connection speed:

Photos from the Road - Newport News - Aug 23, 2004 - High Quality Photos (slower)


Photos from the Road - Newport News - Aug 23, 2004 - Medium Quality Photos (faster)

It's close to 2 PM and I'm sitting at a table on the DNC America Can Do Better bus tour rolling down I-64 from Newport News to Richmond. I left Lynchburg last night a little after midnight, caught a few hours of sleep in Richmond and hit Newport News around 9:15 AM this morning with Laura Bland (DPVA Communications Director). My invitation from the DNC to join this group for the Virginia leg of the trip came up Friday, so everything schedule-wise has been by the seat of my pants.

I'm shooting photos and blogging for the day as the bus starts its journey through five battleground states. The primary passengers on this bus are everyday people with a story to tell about the damage the Bush administration has done to their lives these last three years. Among them are a number of Virginians, several of which are going to be writing their thoughts for us on Documenting Democracy this week.

I have to say, I've been having a lot of fun this morning and am thoroughly enjoying getting to know everyone here, from Tony Welch, Press Secretary of the DNC, to retired Brigadier General Evelny "Pat" Foote to Bettey Durham Bailey of Virginia Beach, a retired former 30-year federal employee. Betty is sitting across the table from me as I write this, telling me various anecdotes and throwing in some select comments as various talking heads (including George Bush) appear on CNN just over my left shoulder.

I've taken around 400 photos already this morning and have been sorting out a selection both for our blog, for the DNC and for general use by the press and other media. The bus itself is quite amazing, complete with a kitchen and T1-speed access via satellite (those who know me well understand how giddy that makes me).

We're about to roll into Richmond for an event and will then continue on to my stomping grounds (Lynchburg) for an overnight stay and an event tomorrow morning before they head on to West Virginia. Unfortunately, I'll be parting ways with them tonight... but we're going to stay in close touch through the blog(s) as the week goes on.

I'm off to get this entry and my photos up to the server, but I'll check in again later as time permits. :)

Posted by amahler at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2004

Greetings from Bruce Roemmelt

Bloggers,

Hello to all! I'm bruce roemmelt from Haymarket (about 20 miles north west of Manassas) and I'm going to be on the bus for the whole trip. I'm new to posting on blogs, but I do read a lot of them. My thoughts are that documenting this trip is a really good thing, not just for VA Democrats but also for all folks that are interested in the process.

First off our schedule is fluid and can be found along with the overview at the DNC web site here: http://www.democrats.org/news/200408210017.html

Props to Laura and Aaron for supporting our blog efforts to get the word out for our candidates, John Kerry and John Edwards. If you get some ideas for things you would like us to put up on the tour blog let us know. I'll be checking my email roemmelt@erols.com along the way and on the bus so give us a shout.

Continue reading "Greetings from Bruce Roemmelt"

Posted by bruce roemmelt at 06:42 PM | Comments (1)