President Trump signs Bibles at Alabama church

President Donald Trump signs a Bible as he greets people at Providence Baptist Church in Smiths Station, Ala., Friday, March 8, 2019, as they travel to tour areas where tornados killed 23 people in Lee County, Ala. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

AUBURN, Ala. — President Donald Trump signed Bibles at an Alabama church and took photos with survivors of a deadly tornado outbreak that killed nearly two dozen people.

Trump surveyed the wreckage and visiting with victims Friday.

Volunteer Emily Pike says the president and first lady signed a small Bible owned by her 10-year-old daughter, Meredith Pike.

Pike says: “She just reached out there and said, ‘Mr. President, would you sign this?’”

Trump used a felt pen to scratch out his signature on the cover of the girl’s Bible, which is decorated with pink camouflage, and first lady Melania Trump then added her signature.

Pike says the Trumps also signed a Bible for one of Meredith’s friends.

Trump visited a row of 23 crosses, one for each person killed by an Alabama tornado.

Trump and his wife, Melania, held hands Friday as they observed a moment of silence in front of each of the markers erected near a church.

Each cross bears the victim’s name and a red heart. Flowers and stuffed animals have been left at the base of the crosses in remembrance of each victim who was killed after Sunday’s powerful tornado that bore down on the rural town of Beauregard, Alabama. Messages have also been left at the crosses.

Trump surveyed the damage on Friday, meeting with local officials and victims. He also visited a makeshift disaster relief center set up at the church.

The president said. he couldn’t get to Alabama “fast enough” after a tornado struck a rural area and killed 23 people.

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