Pope Francis Arrives in the U.S., Greeted by President Barack Obama: Video, Photos

President Obama welcomes Pope Francis on September 22, 2015
Pope Francis arrived in the U.S. and was greeted by President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Sept. 22 

He’s here! Pope Francis officially kicked off his visit to the United States at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on Tuesday, Sept. 22, following his trip to Cuba.

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The Catholic leader, 78, arrived stateside at 4 p.m. ET. He was greeted by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, their daughter Malia and Sasha Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s wife, Jill Biden.

The special moment, captured on video via The New York Times, showed him receiving a round of applause and flowers from children. He also shook hands with people in the crowd, walked on a red carpet, and a band played Pharrell Williams‘ “Happy.”

obama and pope waving
Pope Francis waves alongside President Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on September 22, 2015

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POTUS, 54, and Pope Francis first met in March 2014 at the Vatican in Italy, where they spoke for over an hour. “It is a great honor. I’m a great admirer,” Obama said at the time. “Thank you so much for receiving me.”

obama and pope walking with michelle
Pope Francis is escorted by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters after arriving from Cuba on September 22, 2015

The first Latin American pope will next address a Joint Session of United States Congress in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, and will later take part in the Festival of Families in Philadelphia on Sept. 26. On Sept. 24, he’ll be making his way to New York City. Plans are already under way to close several streets when he arrives to speak to the United Nations General Assembly.

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obama and pope laughing
President Obama welcomes Pope Francis upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base on September 22, 2015

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