Girl’s solemn moment at Florida collapse site led to meeting with Biden

A 12-year-old girl’s moment of reflection at the site of the Florida building collapse — where her father and uncle remain missing — ended up getting her a meeting with President Joe Biden.

Elisheva Cohen stepped away from relatives at the rubble that was once Champlain Towers South, pulled out her cellphone and began reading Psalms, WPLG-TV reported.

The solemn sight earlier this week caught the eye of Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett, a regular at the site of the disaster in his beachfront town.

Burkett knelt down next to Cohen and asked the girl if she was okay.

“Yes,” the girl replied.

“And that really brought it home to me,” Burkett told the station. “She wasn’t crying. She was just lost. She didn’t know what to do, what to say, who to talk to.”

The youngster’s father, Dr. Brad Cohen, is among the 128 people still missing following the 12-story building’s collapse on June 24, with 20 others confirmed dead.

U.S. President Joe Biden, center, pauses to pose for a photo with gathered search and rescue workers, after visiting a makeshift memorial to the scores of victims of the partial collapse at the Champlain Towers South condo building, Thursday, July 1, 2021.
President Joe Biden came down to Surfside this week.
Gerald Herbert/AP

The night before the collapse, Cohen’s mother, Soriya, sent the girl’s father a picture of their daughter, wearing a pink t-shirt and sporting a ponytail.

“Look how pretty,” the caption read.

The following morning Cohen’s mom “frantically woke her up” to share the tragic news.

On Thursday, when Biden visited Surfside to meet with first-responders and relatives of the missing, Burkett shared the story of the praying young girl he had spotted — and couldn’t get out of his mind.

“I wanted him to know and see the face of that little girl who was praying for her father across from the rubble,” Burkett said. “He looked at me and said, ‘would you please being her to me now?”

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett (right) joins worshipers on June 26, 2021.
Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett (right) joins worshipers on June 26, 2021.
Wilfredo Lee/AP

The mayor dispatched police to pick up the girl and bring her to the president.

A photo of the meeting shows Biden next to Cohen, with Burkett, who brought the two together for the meeting, standing in the background.

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