Articles From the March 1994 Unification News


I Want To See My President!

by Linda Haft

On January 13 1 met the mother of my daughter's school mate at the dietsky sad. As we walked home together, she struggled to explain to me In her broken English that President Clinton was coming to Minsk on the 15th. Not only that, but he would come to Victory Square to place a wreath-one block from our flat!

If she hadn't told me this, r would have no way of knowing, so I felt Heavenly Father was saying I had to do something.

That night spirit world was so excited, saying "Make a sign!"-"God Bless America" and "God Bless Belarus" with the words CARP and our logo included. So Irene Patsel made the Belarussian sign in Russian and I made the American one.

My friend's husband is a military interpreter and said that Clinton should come between I t am and 12 pm. But no one else I spoke with could even give me the correct day-so I just went by her information.

Saturday morning arrived and my husband, Larry, went out into the streets to find out the situation there. He called me saying the streets were blocked by soldiers. Not even pedestrians were allowed. However, he found a way around to the other side by the river.

As I prepared to dash out with my three small children, I felt Heung Jin Nim tell me to grab my passport (which I usually never carry). We got closer to the monument but a soldier strongly ordered us to go away. There I met Larry. I grabbed my sign and left the girls with him to find a way to get closer.

I felt so drawn to get as close as possible, but guards were everywhere. I saw some people a little closer to the streets but soldiers blocked my way. I smiled sweetly and said, "Nyet problem- Amerikanski."

"And I Want To See My President" I demanded. The soldier said "Nyet!" and didn't want to see my passport.

Out of nowhere came a heavenly faced young soldier. He said "Let me see your passport" and let me through the first barrier of soldiers.

I was standing behind the row of soldiers near some old dedushkas. We laughed and joked together for about 20 minutes. Neither of us speaking the other's language.

Soon I saw Andrei Krasavtsev with the Russian sign with my family. I yelled at them (as the guards were preventing them from coming nearer): "Tell them you're my translator and I need you!" Everyone was watching as they let them enter.

As we stood there, I was praying to Heung Jin Nim, "Well, you said if we need help, ask for it. And I feel so afraid to hold up my sign-that these soldiers will jump on us and drag me away. Show me how to get closer. Clinton has to see these signs. The world must see.

"I want to give testimony to brothers and sisters about you."

It was getting cold. Larry had to take the girls home. It was taking so long for Clinton to come!

Then a bunch of students were ushered to the curb area. Andrei and I said, "Oh boy' We're students, too!" and tried to blend in with them. Of course the soldiers stopped us. I said to one big one: "But I'm Amerikanski! Look-Boga Lublu Ameriki. Boga Lublu Belarus." As I showed him our signs one of his commanders came up. When he saw the signs, to my amazement, his eyes lit up and he ordered his men to let us through.

No one had signs of any kind and all the securities from both sides kept staring at our rolled up posters. Personal cameras weren't even allowed.

I was so cold by this time and in so much pain but after two and a half hours the camera crews finally arrived. I could see by the placement of the camera crew that Heung Jin Nim had placed us in the most strategic position.

As Clinton's car drove by, instead of driving around the monument, it drove right in front of us. I could see Clinton looking to his right at the monument. Then, as he passed us, all of a sudden he turned around and saw us. A big smile came to his face and he turned to wave to us until he reached the monument.

Later, when he went out to the stairs to lay the wreath, twice he tried to glance at us to his right. The camera crews couldn't miss us because as they shot him, we were in the background.

Then he went out to the street to shake people's hands on our side of the monument. Even though I didn't believe he would walk all the way down to where we were, somehow he was being drawn to us like a magnet.

Some women pushed in front of me and the sign started to bend. A young man pulled on the sign to read it and then eagerly encouraged me to lift it high. The wind began to blow so he helped support it. I could hear Clinton as he stood right in front of me saying, "I really like the sign. Thank you for the sign. I really like the sign." Then I realized he was searching for my hand. I reached over and felt so strongly that this was not my hand but the hand of True Parents.

Reprinted from Family Ties: UC Newsletter for the CIS/Baltics

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