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First lady Michelle Obama hugs former President George W. Bush during the dedication ceremony for the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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A powerful image of Michelle Obama and George W. Bush for the ages

By Thu-Huong Ha

A striking image from this weekend offers some symbolic hope for Americans troubled by the country’s stark division along ethnic, political, economic, and gender lines.

At the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture yesterday, photographers including Pulitzer-winner David Hume Kennerly captured a warm embrace between first lady Michelle Obama and former president George W. Bush, who first signed the bill to build the museum in 2003.

The photo clearly resonates with a country grappling with its own history of racism and slavery, one that quite literally built the White House we know today. And as the US anticipates a combative first presidential debate tomorrow (Sep. 26), it’s all the more striking to see leaders reaching across the proverbial aisle in a moment of genuine warmth.