Daniel and William have received a personally signed letter from President Barack Obama care of the Ambassador of the United States of America, Jeffrey Bleich, in Canberra.
When President Obama visited Australia in November last year Daniel thought, “wouldn’t it be great if President Obama was able to receive one of our books!” so he wrote a letter to Ambassador Bleich asking if he could pass a copy on.
In December 2012 The boys received a letter from Ambassador Bleich wishing them all the best and providing words of encouragement. It didn’t provide any indication that Daniel and William’s book had been passed on to the President during his visit but was very supportive nonetheless for which we were very appreciative.
A couple of days ago, when Penny went to collect the mail from our little post box at Terrey Hills, just before collecting the boys from school, imagine her surprise when she was handed a brown paper envelope which read, “United States of America – Official Business“.
Her heart skipped a beat…
She realised the letter had been postmarked from Canberra so she was pretty sure it was from Ambassador Bleich and thought is was a certificate or photo or something commemorating President Obama’s visit to Australia in response to Daniel’s letter.
As the letter was addressed to Daniel she wanted to make sure that he was present when it was opened so she quickly jumped in the car and drove to the school to collect the boys.
At the school, Penny got Daniel out of his wheelchair and sitting comfortably in the back seat of the car, William stood beside her at the side of the car while they opened the envelope together. She carefully opened the envelope and was shocked that inside was another brown paper envelope, except this time, on the outside of the envelope were the words, “The White House, Washington DC – FIRST CLASS DO NOT BEND“.
There was a brief moment where they exchanged glances at each other then looked at each other in disbelief
Penny said, “I cannot open this here, I have to get a letter opener”. She asked Daniel if he wanted to go home and open it to which he replied, “No, let’s go to the school office”.
Penny quickly unloaded the wheelchair, strapped Daniel in and, with William in tow, headed off briskly to the School Office. At the close of the school day the office was winding down however, as they walked in Penny asked the lady behind the desk if she had a letter opener. Her response was ‘casual’ by way of saying, “yes, we have one here… somewhere”. It was a this time Penny said, “…Daniel has received a letter from The White House!”.
Penny said, “You should have seen their faces, if ever there was a ‘kodak moment’ this was it!”
In seconds the word had spread around the office and administrative staff came running from all directions. There was a small crowd around the boys as Penny nervously opened the envelope and pulled the letter out for Daniel and William to read first.
Everyone who was present had tears welling in their eyes with anticipation of the recognition that the boys had been pursuing for so many years.
Penny slowly pulled the letter from the envelope. At the top of the letter stood a simple and yet beautifully embossed coat of arms of the United States of America. Underneath it, the words eloquently typed, “The White House, Washington”.
The letter didn’t have to say that is was from ‘The President of the United States’, his original signature at the end of the letter said it all.
The letter was simple however one phrase stood out, “I look forward to working together to the benefit of our two nations, and to strengthening the bonds between our people“.
Daniel and William have always wanted to meet the President to talk about how they may inspire children in America to achieve more than they had dreamed and to talk about the plight of the orang-utan, perhaps they are just that little bit closer to changing history…
CLICK HERE to see the letter to Daniel from Ambassador Bleich.
CLICK HERE to see the letter from the President of the United States, President Barack Obama