SLIDESHOW President Trump lands in Air Force One at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport

Lorelei Ryan

Lorelei Ryan, Editor

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President Donald Trump visited St. Louis on Wednesday, March 14, for an event at Boeing headquarters and a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley.

Along with the professional media covering the event, three journalism students from Pattonville High School were at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport to document the arrival of Air Force One. Newspaper co-editors Brittany Bell and Lorelei Ryan, and yearbook photo editor Madison Brown were approved to be part of the media.

Journalism adviser Mr. Brian Heyman made the arrangements through the White House Press Office.

“I try to provide my students real-world journalism experiences, so I sent an email to a reporter who was able to get me in touch with the White House,” Heyman said. “When I got a response that we were approved, I was shocked, excited, and proud all at the same time.”

President Trump was scheduled to arrive at 2:25 p.m., but the students had to leave school by 11 a.m. in order to get through security and be shuttled to the media area on the tarmac.

After having their camera equipment inspected by the Secret Service and going through security, the students received their White House Press Pool media credentials and the team of reporters boarded a shuttle to be taken to the tarmac.

Brittany Bell was interested in the process.

“I’m really intrigued by the government and especially with the Secret Service and thought it was a really cool experience,” Bell said. “I am obsessed with watching how they work and I had the chance to see them work up-close and interact with them.”

Family and friends of President Trump were also in attendance at the event and shuttled to a location directly to the left of the media pool.

With about 2-and-a-half hours before the estimated landing time and with temperatures in the mid-40s, the Secret Service told the student reporters that a shuttle would be brought over to help them keep warm.

At about 2:15 p.m., Air Force One was seen making its descent and it was senior Lorelei Ryan’s first time seeing the famous airplane in person.

“I’ve seen pictures of it before and it looks like any other plane, but now I’m the one taking pictures of it and it was a lot bigger than I thought,” she said. “It was also cool to see all of the Secret Service members around, and I even saw one talk into his sleeve, which was fun to see.”

Police officers surrounded the area. Snipers used large binoculars and kept watch around the tarmac, helicopters flew overhead patrolling the area and police cars were parked outside the airport gates keeping traffic under control.

Junior Madison Brown was a part of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Overall, it was a super neat experience,” she said. “It’s not every day you get to see the President and Air Force One.”

The students took photos and documented their experiences in ways that surprised Heyman.

“I never knew the girls enjoyed vlogging.”

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SLIDESHOW President Trump lands in Air Force One at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport