Jean Lundin, 65, and her sister, Joyce Richards, 62, emerged in tears from the part of the museum dedicated to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“It was like it brought it back like it was yesterday, happening all over again,” Richards said.
Lundin, clutching Bush’s autobiography as she went through the museum, had traveled to Dallas from her home in Marquette, Mich., so the two could be there on opening day.
“I just think politically he’s exactly consistent with my values,” said Lundin, a retired professor who said she used to tell her students that she was Bush’s second biggest fan, behind only former first lady Laura Bush.
Kylie Franklin, 12, a sixth-grader at Reagan Middle School in Grand Prairie, along with her sister, Makaylin Franklin, a fifth-grader at Dickinson Elementary Academy in Grand Prairie, were among the students who met the president.
“That was an amazing experience,” Kylie Franklin said.
She said that among questions the students asked Bush was whether he would run again for president if he could. “He said ‘no,’” said Franklin, who along with her sister has visited all 13 presidential libraries run by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
Larry Touchon, 85, and Yolanda Touchon, 72, of Amarillo, made the visit their honeymoon trip after getting married April 21 in Las Vegas.
“We just wanted to tie this in with our marriage. He’s such a great guy,” Larry Touchon said as his voice broke, adding, “He saved this country in 9/ 11, there’s no question about it.”
Mike Palmer, 45, came from Los Angeles to be in Dallas for the opening. “He’s my favorite president, so why not?” he said.