Yesterday, before heading to Pennsylvania for more campaigning, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made an "unscheduled" visit to Ground Zero. She visited the Tribute WTC Visitor Center as well as Ladder Co. 10's firehouse, which has a bronze mural honoring the 343 firefighters who died on September 11.

NY Daily News columnist Michael Daly happened to be at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, signing copies of his book about Fire Chaplin Mychal Judge, when Palin arrived. He writes:

My hosts suggested it would be fitting for me to give her a book, and there I was, a liberal puke of a columnist, faced with writing an inscription for Sarah Palin.

I thought of Mychal, who had bridged all differences. I recalled that Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Mayor Dave Dinkins and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani had all welled up while talking to me of their fallen friend. I now wrote in the title page what I felt sure to be true.

"For Governor Palin, who would have loved Mychal."

Daly also noticed that Palin wrote in the visitors' guestbook, "From your 49th state.... We will never forget.... Governor Sarah Palin, ALASKA"

Palin, described as "personable" and "a little emotional" by a firefighter who showed her the mural at Ladder 10, actually spoke to reporters briefly, citing her support for the war on terror, "I agree with the Bush administration that we take the fight to them, we never again let them come onto our soil and try to destroy not only our democracy but communities like, the community of New York, never again. So, yes I do agree with taking the fight to the terrorists and stopping them over there."

And another interesting detail emerged yesterday: Palin's parents were part-time contract workers working at Fresh Kills after 9/11, to help keep seagulls and rats away from the debris (which included bodies). Her father, Chuck Heath, told WNBC, “We were working with firemen and policemen, rubbing elbows with them and talking to them. That was a real highlight to me – hearing their stories." It's unclear how Heath felt about his daughter's second aired interview with Katie Couric, which was a little rough (video after the jump).

Palin will face off versus Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden in the VP debate on October 2 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.