Fire Capt. Bob Ramsey went from battling blazes in Burbank to the
halls of Congress this week.
For the past several years, he’s wanted to hear the State of the
Union address from the House of Representatives Chamber Gallery.
His wish came true Tuesday night, thanks to an invitation from
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank).
He wound up a few rows behind First Lady Laura Bush, sitting next
to a congressman’s wife who gave him a lesson on the protocol for the
standing, clapping and sitting, as they listened to President Bush’s
“It had always intrigued me,” Ramsey said. “You see it and wonder
what it would be like to be part of it. It exceeded my expectations.”
As for the speech?
“I thought it was visionary, but I would like to have heard more
about solving domestic problems.”
Schiff extended the invitation to Ramsey when he wound up with an
“We are given one ticket for our spouses for the gallery,” Schiff
“I thought it would be wonderful to offer it to one of our first
responders in our new war on terrorism.”
He had heard Ramsey really wanted to see the address.
His office contacted Ramsey, who flew to Washington, D.C., on
“It’s always a thrill to go to the State of the Union,” Schiff
said. “For one night of the year, it’s the greatest theater in the
To his surprise, Schiff said several other congressmen also
“Robert had a lot of company in the gallery,” he said.
Still, Ramsey touted the uniqueness of the event.
“It was an honor and a privilege to be there, and an experience I
will never forget,” he said.
“I mean, how many people do you know that have gone to one these
Reporter Ben Godar
contributed to this article.