NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – Normally jaded New Yorkers turned out in droves early Friday to Central Park to claim their space for Pope Francis’ procession later in the day.
Friday morning the pope addressed the General Assembly of United Nations and attended a somber interfaith service at the Ground Zero Memorial.
The afternoon’s event will taken on a festive tone and New Yorkers who turned out early say they can’t wait to see the Holy Father.
“I got a great spot. I got here at 4:45 a.m. and she got here at 2:30 a.m.,” one woman told CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez.
The pope’s visit to the 9-1-1 memorial touched many New Yorkers who said the pontiff feels the pain they suffered 14 years ago.
One of the big safety precautions for the procession was the installation of eight foot walls along Center Park South. Anyone going int the park to watch the procession must have a ticket and pass through a metal detector.
“We came over to see the pope, we love him, we love him,” said one woman who was from Israel. “He’s very human, he’s very social, I love his way of thinking, of being with the people.”
Also on the pope’s agenda for Friday afternoon is a visit to “Our Lady of the Angels” school in Harlem where he will meet with the children and their families, most of whom are migrants. He will then go to Madison Square Garden where he will celebrate Mass.