Reporters on the Job

Love's Letters Found: When Jeaninne Gillingham mentioned the Christmas card she had received in 1945 from her GI flame, the Monitor's Peter Ford asked to see it (page 1). When she had finished rummaging in an old dresser, Mrs. Gillingham came back with an armful of letters that she and her husband-to-be had exchanged 60 years ago - letters she said she had not looked at for years.

Peter was interested to look through them, but even more fascinated was Alan, Mrs. Gillingham's dentist son, who had been sitting in on the interview. He had never seen the letters, or known of their existence. Peter left him poring over his parents' love letters, learning a whole new chapter of his history.

Security, American-style: Romans are no strangers to state visits - or to a bit of pomp and circumstance. But the run-up to a visit from President Bush Friday has left residents of the Eternal City dumbfounded (page 7).

"There's a sense of amazement that when Bush moves around, it requires this level of effort to guarantee his safety," says correspondent Sophie Arie. "There hasn't been such a massive program in living memory."

Trash cans in the Vatican, where Bush will visit the Pope, have been secured. Around the city, sewers and tunnels have been inspected and manholes sealed. Parking areas have been cleared out, and both of Rome's airports will be closed briefly. Security agents have dropped by to chat with residents of Rome's upscale Parioli area, where the US ambassador has his residence and Bush is expected to stay.

The trip has energized some Italians. "The peace movement had quieted down over the past year," says Sophie. "But this week, the rainbow-colored peace flags that became a symbol of opposition to the Iraq war across Europe have reappeared in shop windows, homes, and churches."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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