Published January 21, 2004
| Associated Press
LINCOLN, R.I. – She still had to go to school -- but otherwise Wednesday was anything but routine for Ashley Pearson (search).
One day after President Bush included a letter Ashley wrote in his State of the Union address (search), the wide-eyed 10-year-old found herself in a media whirlwind -- appearing on national television, doing interviews with radio talk show hosts, even fielding a phone call from a congressman.
"It's not a normal day," she said. "I'm a little tired."
Ashley stayed up way past her bedtime Tuesday after Bush read her letter in his national address.
"Dear George W. Bush: If there is anything you know, I, Ashley Pearson, age 10, can do to help anyone, please send me a letter and tell me what I can do to save our country. ... P.S. If you can send a letter to the troops -- please put, 'Ashley Pearson believes in you."'
"I was happy and excited," she said.
Ashley woke up before 5 a.m. Wednesday to do live interviews with the national news networks. She had so many requests for interviews, her family had to post a schedule on the refrigerator to keep them straight.
Her father took the day off work to help field phone calls, but Ashley went to school as usual. Her classmates clapped when she walked in, she said, but then it was back to studying.
Ashley said she wrote her letter Dec. 17.
"I felt that the soldiers, the troops, everyone that fought for the country, and George Bush, should know that a lot of people care about them," she said. "They're sacrificing their lives for our country.
"I just feel great that they're doing that for us," she said.
Rep. James Langevin (search), D-R.I., phoned Ashley to say that her letter would be a source of inspiration -- especially the men and women serving in Iraq.