Calling it "the greatest Christmas gift that I could give," President-elect Bush's son John passed out candy and toys to children injured in Armenia's devastating earthquake.
John E. Bush and his 12-year-old son George flew into the Armenian capital of Yerevan aboard a DC-8 cargo plane carrying relief supplies, toured the disaster zone in a bus and stopped in the village of Spitak, which was flattened by the Dec. 7 quake.They returned to Yerevan later Sunday and visited rooms on three floors of Children's Hospital No. 3, where more than 600 youngsters hurt in the quake have been treated.
Bush and his son handed out candy bars, teddy bears, games of tick-tack-toe and other donated toys flown in by the Americares charity.
"This is probably the greatest Christmas gift that I could give myself or my son," Bush said.
Armenians themselves were not celebrating Christmas. An ancient people who embraced Christianty as a state religion more than 1,600 years ago, Armenians have canceled Christmas festivities on Jan. 6, the date they and the other Eastern rites usually celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Bush's eyes welled with tears as white-coated Armenian doctors and nurses, speaking through interpreters, told him of the ordeals and injuries of the children.