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CNN Student News Transcript: November 11, 2008

  • Story Highlights
  • Learn what life at the White House can be like for the first family
  • Celebrate Veterans Day by exploring the history of this U.S. holiday
  • Hear how some stores are giving military brides an assist down the aisle
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(CNN Student News) -- November 11, 2008

Quick Guide

The President's Residence - Learn what life at the White House can be like for the first family.

Salute to Veterans - Celebrate Veterans Day by exploring the history of this U.S. holiday.

Donating Dresses - Hear how some stores are giving military brides an assist down the aisle.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz, and we welcome you to this special, Veterans Day edition of CNN Student News.

First Up: White House Welcome

AZUZ: First up, a first visit to the Oval Office for the man who will become its new occupant. After an election, the current U.S. president traditionally invites the president-elect to the White House. Yesterday, President George W. Bush continued that tradition, hosting President-elect Barack Obama. The meeting marked Mr. Obama's first time in the Oval Office. But this wasn't just a ceremonial get-together. The two leaders were expected to discuss a broad range of issues, including the economy, national security and the war in Iraq. Instead of making a public statement afterward, though, an aide says the president and president-elect decided to "let the pictures speak for themselves."

The President's Residence

AZUZ: The president-elect's daughters will move into the White House in January along with their parents. Every move comes with change. But imagine how different life might be if your dad were to become the most powerful man in the world. Deborah Feyerick examines what's in store for the future first family.


DEB FEYERICK, CNN REPORTER: There's Renegade and Renaissance, Radiance and Rosebud; new names for a new family moving into their new house. The code names given by the Secret Service are no longer secret now that security transmissions are encrypted.

SALLY QUINN, THE WASHINGTON POST: It's always amazing how the Secret Service comes up with names that are appropriate.

FEYERICK: For the Obamas, there's lots to do before January when they move into the White House. First, there's the issue of schools for fifth-grade Malia and second-grade Sasha. The girls, who got a ride from their dad Monday morning, currently attend private school in Chicago. When the Clintons first moved to Washington, they opted for private school for 12-year-old daughter Chelsea. Nine-year-old first daughter Amy Carter was sent to public school. And it won't be just the four Obamas moving in. The girls' grandmother, who helped care for them during the campaign, will also come, as will a new best friend.

FEYERICK: Not everyone brings a puppy. Caroline Kennedy brought her pony Macaroni. Teddy Roosevelt's kids snuck their pony Algonquin into the White House to cheer up a sick brother. With so much extra security around the family, that's unlikely to happen.

QUINN: All the kids who have lived in the White House have always gotten very used to the Secret Service, and in fact, have become great friends with them.

FEYERICK: The Obamas will set up house on the second and third floors. The girls can even attend dinners, like Amy Carter did, with heads of state, though it's unlikely they'll bring a book. And while the girls are likely to spend a lot of time inside, there's lots to do, like private pool parties, hide-and-seek, maybe even ride a bike, like another former resident.

QUINN: It really is like "Eloise at the Plaza." I mean, these two girls are going to find so many wonderful things to explore, and so many rooms, so much history, and it's very much a home up on the second floor, it's very cozy up there.



NINETTE SOSA, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Today's Shoutout is dedicated to everyone who has ever served in the United States Armed Forces. During what war were American troops known as doughboys? Was it: A) Civil War, B) World War I, C) World War II or D) Korean War? You've got three seconds -- GO! According to one theory, the buttons on World War I infantry uniforms looked like dumplings made from dough, hence the term "doughboy." That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Salute to Veterans

AZUZ: "This special day is a fantastic one that commemorates the millions of people who ever fought or gave up their time or even their lives for our country." The words of Ben, honoring America's veterans. Danny's uncle is in the military, so he always calls him to honor him for serving our country. Natasha says, "We should give veterans a speech about how thankful we are... that they are, or were, serving our country." Nihar hopes that "people all over the U.S. will do at least one thing nice for this Veterans Day." And Jojo plans to spend time with war veterans at a nursing home, saying, "It's a great way to serve my country and the people who've served us." We also salute America's veterans, beginning with this report about how today's holiday got started.


AZUZ: The images you're seeing are 90 years old, showing dogfights between the first warplanes; battles between the first doughboys; faces from the first World War. It was known as "The Great War," the "war to end all wars." And though that didn't hold true, it did give rise to the holiday America celebrates this November 11th: Veterans Day.

U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I thank our nation's veterans for the fine example that you have set for our country. I thank you for your courage and patriotism and devotion to duty.

AZUZ: This particular date was chosen because it was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, that the Armistice went into effect, ending World War I. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the date a holiday and called it Armistice Day. In 1921, unknown soldiers were entombed in ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, London's Westminster Abbey and Paris' Arc de Triomphe. Two decades later, the world was again embroiled in conflict, as World War II saw the greatest mobilization of troops in American history. Following that war and later the Korean conflict, Armistice Day was expanded to honor American veterans of all wars. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill to change the name, and the holiday has been Veterans Day ever since. Today, it's not limited to those who've served in battle. Veterans Day salutes every American serviceperson, in or out of conflict. The reasons are simple.

U.S. VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: You keep faith with America. Your example of service and sacrifice inspires a new generation of freedom's defenders. May God keep us truly grateful for everything that you've done.

AZUZ: Grateful, indeed.


I.D. Me

SOSA: See if you can I.D. Me! I was born in Harrison County, Missouri in 1901. I lied about my age so that I could join the army when I was 16 years old. I'm the only living American veteran of World War I. I'm Frank Buckles, and I was an ambulance driver in the Great War.


AZUZ: Our coverage of Veterans Day continues online! Do you know the difference between this holiday and Memorial Day? You'll find the answer in our One-Sheet. And our Learning Activity challenges students to interview U.S. military personnel to explore the sacrifices these men and women made in defense of our country. Check out both resources at!

Donating Dresses

AZUZ: Some store owners are supporting U.S. troops and their families by offering an assist down the aisle. You see, wedding dresses, from what I've been told, can be really expensive. But these salons that we're talking about are giving them away for free to brides who are either serving in the armed forces or getting married to someone who is. Crystal Haynes of affiliate WTNH in Farmington, Connecticut dresses up the details.


CRYSTAL HAYNES, NEWS CHANNEL 8 REPORTER: For Melissa Metzger, today has been a long time in the making.

MELISSA METZGER, BRIDE-TO-BE: I've been dreaming about my wedding day since I was 6 years old, so I pretty much have everything planned out. And I want it to be intimate, and with him it's going to be perfect no matter what.

HAYNES: Especially when her fiance is home safe from Iraq and at the end of the wedding aisle, as she walks down in her free bridal gown donated by Stylish Impressions in Farmington.

DIANE BONNEY, BRIDAL SHOP OWNER: Do you know if she wants white or ivory?

HAYNES: Owner Diane Bonney's shop is the only one in Connecticut that's a part of the Brides Across America National Giveaway event. She's donating more than 40 gowns to brides in the military or marrying into it.

BONNEY: We're really in tough times right now with the economy and things like that, and I thought this was just a great opportunity. You know, if you're in a situation where you're able to give, why not give?

HAYNES: Perhaps Jennifer DeSrocher's face says it all. She's marrying into the Navy and bringing her mom and sister along for the ride.

JENNIFER DESROCHER, BRIDE-TO-BE: I'm actually honored to be part of his life, being part of the military, being part of this. I think it's just fantastic. I see what they do for the town, for the country, everything that they do, and I think this is fantastic.

RUTH DESROCHER, JENNIFER'S MOM: This is unbelievable, because they are fighting hard times right now with getting ready for the move and everything. And to be able to have a free weeding gown, 'cause they are costly, it's wonderful.

HAYNES: The shop had about 15 appointments this Sunday, but they say if they don't get to the magic number of 40, they're going to extend the giveaway until Veterans Day. In Farmington, I'm Crystal Haynes, News Channel 8.


Before We Go

AZUZ: And finally today, one veteran's vacation ends with a spectacular surprise.

ROBERT TOLAND, ARMY STAFF SERGEANT: I was almost a blank slate. All I could think was, "Thank God," and "my wife is going to love this."

AZUZ: Who wouldn't love this kind of welcome home party, especially when it includes an extreme makeover for your house! Contractors and volunteers came together to remodel Staff Sergeant Robert Toland's home while he and his family were out of town. Toland is battling cancer and the remarkable renovations will help him meet his medical needs.



AZUZ: That wraps up this special edition of CNN Student News. Please make sure to thank any veterans you may see today, and have a very happy Veterans Day.

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