23 Aug 2014
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Letter: Reader Wants to Help Kids Turned Away from Obama Event

Email your letters to the editor to Kent Patch editor Matt Fredmonsky at Matt.Fredmonsky@Patch.com

Letter: Reader Wants to Help Kids Turned Away from Obama Event

Dear Editor;   I very much appreciate your article, "Many Ticket Holders Turned Away from Obama Campaign Stop" in Kent Patch for addressing a problem that has now occurred twice at the Kent State MACC:  the overbooking of available space.  In the first case, the problem took place during a graduation ceremony and left many parents and friends of graduates standing on the outside.  The current problem here occurred with the appearance of President Obama on Wednesday.  

I witnessed a particularly heartbreaking moment, one which likely occurred several times, while waiting in line to get into the MAC Center.  I was near the back of the line, immediately behind a young father and his two three- or four-year old boys, who were all enduring a heavy rain in the expectation of seeing the president in person.  The father continued to remind the kids that they would see the president and would remember the event for the rest of their lives and how thankful they would be as they grew up.  We were all impressed with how the kids held up; they were real troopers and actually entertained everyone around them. As frequently happens in such a situation, many of us grew comfortable with each other and exchanged jokes and information during the wait.  

After nearly two-and-a-half hours in line at about 5 p.m. our group could finally see the MAC Center, though there were likely more than 100 people still in front of us and several hundred behind.  Then we got the news: the building's capacity had been reached and no one else would be permitted inside.  The father must have been ready to break down at that point. He could not keep his promise to the kids and had subjected them to a very long wait for nil.  In fact, I felt even worse for him than for the kids.  Everyone immediately dispersed and I did not see any of the fellow line people again, but the thought of something almost unjust has persisted in my mind.  

Enclosed is a photo I took of the two kids during our wait. What I wonder is whether Kent Patch could publish such a photo in order to seek identification of the kids (and their father) with the idea of letting the White House know of the incident to perhaps secure a picture or other memento from the president's office to assuage the guilt of the father and the disappointment of the kids.  Among all the joy that people had in seeing the president, an equal amount of tragedy occurred in this case and at least one other similar case that I read on Facebook.  

If something could be done by Kent Patch, I am sure the people involved as well as all of your readers would champion the effort.  It's a long shot in several directions, I know.  But one worth taking.  

David Reith

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