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Homecoming: American Joyful, Relieved to Be Back Home After Long Ordeal

Plane carrying Jimmy Carter and Aijalon Gomes arrives in Boston from North Korea.

All photos: The Carter Center/D. Hakes

After seven months imprisoned in North Korea, American teacher Aijalon Gomes was reunited with his family this afternoon at Boston Logan Airport. The Carter Center delegation’s plane landed at 2 p.m. today. President Carter embarked last Tuesday on a humanitarian mission to obtain Gomes’ release after he was arrested last January and subsequently sentenced to eight years of hard labor and fined about $600,000. After two days of talks, President Carter and other delegates from The Carter Center left Pyongyang Friday morning to accompany Mr. Gomes for the flight home.

The family of Aijalon Gomes greets Jimmy Carter.

Aijalon Gomes embraces Jimmy Carter.

Aijalon Gomes is embraced by his family after arriving in Boston.

Aijalon Gomes is embraced by his family upon arrival in Boston Aug. 27. Read the Gomes family statement >

Jimmy Carter with Aijalon Gomes and his family.

Read Statement from The Carter Center on President Carter’s Mission to North Korea >>

Posted in North Korea

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82 Comments

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  • 1

    JoAnne Deitch on August 28, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Thanks for another terrific humanitarian effort. Who says diplomacy can’t work?

  • 2

    Jinny Lee on August 28, 2010 at 6:44 am

    President Carter continues to honor this nation.

  • 3

    Derek Brown on August 28, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Dear President Carter,

    Thank God the world has you.

    Sincerely,

    Derek Brown
    University of South Carolina
    College of Social Work

  • 4

    Paul Haider on August 28, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Dear President Carter,
    I failed to mention in my previous post that you are an example of humanitarianism as its finest. Before I die, I will make a pilgrimage to Plains, GA as well as to the Carter Center in Atlanta. Thank you again for being one of our greatest American heroes; you are a profile in courage.
    Paul Haider, Chicago

  • 5

    Dave Stallard on August 28, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Thank you President & Mrs. Carter. Thanks to the many participants and supporters of The Carter Center without whom the marvelous work for global peace would not be possible.

  • 6

    Beverly Webb on August 28, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Thank you President Carter for yet another great humanitarian service. We have are so greatful for your services over these many years.
    Beverly Webb, Sartell, MN.

  • 7

    george Irving on August 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

    President Carter continues to spread love and happiness. Thank you.

  • 8

    Magda Ghobrial on August 28, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Seeing you make this huge voyage through hostile territory to save a man helped me put things into perspective. You’r still my hero Mr. president.
    Thank you for always going the extra mile and trying your best!
    Magda Ghobrial

  • 9

    Florence on August 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Dear President Carter,

    You are a shining light, a testimony of selflessness and of love for mankind.

    You have made the world a better place for the needy and the downtrodden. God bless you!

  • 10

    Juan Edgar Picado on August 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Dear President Carter:

    It´s amazying to realize how expedite and effective was conducted this incredible event of liberating Mr. Gomes. There are ways in which many of us try to serve others, but there are qualities of serving others…the way you serve others, President Carter, is absolutely exemplary. My congratulations and unconditional support for another exemplary service of you to mankind !
    Your friend and supporter of always,
    Juan Edgar Picado Jr.
    San José, Costa Rica

  • 11

    Linda Webster on August 28, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Dear President Carter. It gives me hope to know there are good folks like you in the world. You and Rosalyn are just amazing workers for peace. Thanks for all you have done.

  • 12

    Fran on August 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I am proud of our former President Carter. He is working for Peace and Justice.

  • 13

    carolyn taylor on August 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the childred of God.” Dear President Carter, you and Mrs.Carter have heard the words of Jesus and obeyed them. Thank you.

  • 14

    Timmie Reilly on August 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Jimmy Carter has given Humanitarianism a whole new meaning. I wish we could clone a million of him.
    Timmie Reilly

  • 15

    Trong-Bich Ho on August 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Dear Mr. Carter: your counless kind acts toward others speak it all. Thank you for your being in this world.

  • 16

    TH Hector on August 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Dear Mr. President,
    Thank you for your unwavering honesty,support and commitment to demonstrating true examples of what it means to be a patriotic american.You and yours have shown immeasurable devotion to mankind, worldwide.

  • 17

    Kath Alexander on August 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Well done, President Carter! Your unwavering dedication to humanitarianism in an inhumane world is sincerely appreciated – the Lord will certainly bless your noble soul accordingly! We love you! Kath and Jim Alexander, Poulsbo, Wa.

  • 18

    Patrick Guinn on August 28, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    We ♥ Love You President Carter. You give Earth hope and direction. You show how the petty differences of humans will not stop the furthering of what You have started. This work of those You lead will result in peace, tranquility, unity, and health for all forms of life on this sphere, & for the sphere itself.

  • 19

    Adv. Muhammed Shamsuddin on August 29, 2010 at 5:59 am

    Thanks again

  • 20

    Nic Peeters on August 29, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Well done Sir! Keep up the good work.

  • 21

    Shahrokh Mafi on August 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Dear President Carter:

    Your compassionate gesture for the release of Mr. Aijalon Gomes from eight years of imprisonment with hard labor in North Korea that took you to Pyongyang is indeed a benevolent act which could only be undertaken by few great men in our time. Such great an undertaking brings tears of gratitude to everyone eyes.
    I humbly submit these few lines to pray on this Sunday morning for your good health and long life. God loves President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Rosalynne Carter.

    Very respectfully yours

    Shahrokh Mafi

  • 22

    Eugene Lee McCord Atlanta on August 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    As always, President Carter does what is required through quiet and definate objectives. That simple. He waits as God places the proper order. God Bless and God Bless America.

  • 23

    Eugene Unachukwu on August 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Waging Peace indeed.

  • 24

    Rev. James Roy on August 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Wonderful! Wonderful! Job pres.Carter you have done. praise the Lord.May our gracious God use you more and more to bring peace to each and every corner of this un rest world.
    God bless you, God bless America.

  • 25

    Debra Cameron on August 30, 2010 at 10:09 am

    President Carter you are a genuine humanitarian. THANK YOU for all you have done and do.

  • 26

    Lucille Fritsch on August 30, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Dear Mr. President,

    Thumbs up for a great job of human compassion and care. You are a role model of a true Christian. Keep doing all the good that you and Rosalyn do throughout the world.

  • 27

    jonathan c nwanze on August 30, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I pray God almighty to bless president and mrs carter and all the members of carter center and their families with devine health and long life to continue their humanitarian job to the human race. I am humbled and inspired by this gesture.

  • 28

    jonathan c nwanze on August 30, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    This is waging peace indeed.

  • 29

    samir and nora farra on August 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    At a time when the American people are pre-occupied with unproductive news about the mosque in New York and the mall gathering in DC and other events that divide us as Americans, president and Mrs Carter honor the American spirit of justice and human rights to all Americans by sacrificing their comfort and time in order to preserve the dignity and freedom of Mr.Aijalon and therefore uniting us again as proud Americans.

  • 30

    Babatunde Abdullah on September 1, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    It’s a blessing from the Creator for men like you
    and your wife. You and your wife are true christians
    and just good people. And may the Creator forever bless the both of you.

  • 31

    Tolu A. on September 6, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    As always. You are an inspiration. The Yoruba people say to the elders among us, “E ma pe fun wa.” which means, “May you live long for our sakes” President and Mrs Carter, for the sake of humanity, “E ma pe fun wa.” To the good folks at the Carter Centre “Well Done”.

  • 32

    Autherine B. Smith on September 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Thank you, President Carter. In the words of Albert Einstein “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” You sir are truly a Great Spirit. Professor Autherine B. Smith

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