Boston bomb survivors to be guests at Obama speech
WASHINGTON (AP) -
Two survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing are going to be sitting with first lady Michelle Obama Tuesday when President Barack Obama delivers the annual State of the Union address.
Carlos Arredondo and Jeff Bauman were captured in a now iconic photo where Arredondo, wearing his cowboy hat, pushed Bauman away from the scene in a wheelchair.
“It’s an honor, my family is very grateful. Being there and representing so many people and remembering the others, I’m going there very appreciative to be chosen to go there. I carry memories of people who paid the ultimate sacrifice and their families and the survivors,” Arredondo said.
Bauman and Arredondo will be joined by other guests including:
-- Gary Bird, Moore, Okla.: Bird is the fire chief in Moore, Okla., which was hit by a massive tornado in May 2013. The tornado killed 25 people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses. The White House said Bird and his team worked through the path of the storm to rescue survivors.
-- Jason Collins, Los Angeles: In April, 35-year-old Collins became the first active male athlete on a major American sports team to come out as openly gay. Collins played 12 years in the NBA, going to the playoffs nine times and making the league finals twice. The president has said Collins' announcement marked a point of progress for the gay community.
-- Joey Hudy, Anthem, Ariz.: Hudy was a participant in a 2012 science fair at the White House, where he helped the president use his invention, the "extreme marshmallow cannon." Now 16, Hudy is interning at Intel and is a proponent of science, technology, engineering and math education.
-- Kathy Hollowell-Makle, Washington: Hollowell-Makle was the 2013 teacher of the year in the District of Columbia public school system. A former Teach for America corps member, Hollowell-Makle teaches at Abram Simon Elementary, where 90 percent of her students demonstrated early literacy at proficient or advanced levels.
The first lady's guests are often chosen because they symbolize an issue or policy the president is promoting. The White House announced six guests on Monday, with other names to be released ahead of Obama's address.
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