Polhills Celebrate 10th Anniversary
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Freed hostage Robert Polhill says he still feels weak but hopes to leave the hospital as soon as he has enough voice to ″talk my way out.″
Polhill, 55, slipped out of the hospital Thursday to celebrate his 10th wedding anniversary with his wife, Ferial, at a small homecoming dinner.
Polhill presented his wife with aluminum roses in honor of their anniversary and followed them with a box of live yellow roses.
″I’m in heaven,″ Mrs. Polhill said.
The couple received congratulatory notes from President Bush and from Polhill’s favorite singer, Frank Sinatra. They also were greeted by Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., since Polhill is a big fan of the New York Knicks basketball team, for which Bradley once played.
Polhill, noting that another freed hostage, Frank Reed, was due to return to the United States today, said, ″I would be very happy to see Frank Reed and I will be happier as the days go on to see the other fellows″ who remain captive in Lebanon.
Speaking in a soft, raspy voice, Polhill said he still feels weak but hopes to be released from the hospital ″as soon as I can talk.″
″I have to be able to talk my way out,″ he said. Doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where Polhill is being treated, said he has a growth on his vocal cords.
The Polhills celebrated their first anniversary together in four years at a reception and dinner sponsored by No Greater Love, a Washington-based humanitarian organization serving as a support group for the hostage families.
The dinner at a posh Washington hotel featured Polhill’s favorite dessert, an assortment of chocolate dishes including one topped with a chocolate butterfly to symbolize freedom.
The dinner guests included Peggy Say, the sister of Terry Anderson, the longest-held Americn hostage in Lebanon. Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, was seized March 16, 1985, in Beirut.
Anderson is one of six Americans among the 16 Western kidnap victims still missing in Lebanon.
Polhill was freed April 22 after 39 months in captivity. He was a business professor at the U.S.-affiliated Beirut University College when he was abducted by terrorists on Jan. 24, 1987. Polhill, a diabetic, lost 25 pounds while in captivity.