National Geographic : 2009 Jan
EVERY ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE is scheduled, ordered, observed. Seen from the window of the presidential helicopter, Marine One, a crowd gathers to watch the President lift off the South Lawn (above). Generally, the greensward behind the White House is off-limits for staff and press. "It is the first family's backyard," says former chief usher Gary Walters, a refuge that offers the President and his wife room to bid farewell to Pope Benedict XVI (below).