Pope Francis concluded his visit to the United States with a mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, today, September 27, 2015. It was a sea of people. This started about 10 minutes early, as he started to roll on the outer lanes . He was not stopping for any blessings at first. His motorcade made it’s way to the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul , where he stopped and blessed the prayers that people wrote and pinned to the grotto.. There were thousands of them. You see, for the past week, the public was able to write their prayers on a little strip of paper and then attach it to a structure outside of the Basilica. When he stopped, he went in to the grotto, blessed the prayers then came back up the Ben Franklin Parkway. This time, he was stopping for children. Parents would try to get the attention of his security detail, who would hoist the child up to the pope. Many were not blessed, but a few were chosen.
The pope arrived fresh from his visit at CFCF Prison on State Road. Misinformation published by a weekly paper gave people the impression they could stand on the sidewalk and watch the motorcade. The prison cannot give permission and were overruled by the United States Secret Service People who read the article in the Northeast Times were disappointed when they were kept back to Cottman and Linden Avenues. His arrival was by helicopter, which landed in a park behind the prison. No view at all There was also a rumor that the pope would pay a visit to the Drexel Shrine in Bensalem. That caused a few thousand people to line up on Route 13 to catch a glimpse. He never showed. Police were there to assist with parking for multiple masses being held at the facility. It appears the pontiff did stop at St. Joe’s on City Ave. , which was not on his schedule. That event was not open to the media.
Media were able to cover just about every other stop on his tour, including the Atlantic Aviation arrival and departure which was closed to the public. Most events were free to cover, except the mass and parade on the Parkway. Riser platforms were available and had to be purchased for $1500.00 up to $25,000 for an anchor suite. While some media did purchase a position, the view was not worth the price. atombash.com did not purchase a riser position. Neither did a lot of other media outlets, as many of the spaces available were empty. Clearly, the best photos that came out of his visit were of the parades he did.
People walking through the entry points were not stopped for tickets, so it appears that many non ticketed persons made their way to the ticketed section. It was general admission, so it was first come, first served. Pope Francis concluded his visit to the United States and the World Meeting of Families with a short gathering of volunteers, before he is escorted to his airplane by Vice President Joe Biden.
Many streets will remain closed even until the pope lands safely in Italy, while areas are cleaned up and fencing is removed. To read about his arrival go here