Transcript for Bush Chokes Up During Presidential Center Dedication Speech
Ladies and gentlemen. President George W. Bush. Well. Who happy days. One thank you all for coming Lauren are thrilled to have -- so many friends and you know a lot of friends. Here to celebrate this special day. There was a time in my life. One -- one likely to be found at a library. Much less found one. Beautiful -- -- my name above the door but it belongs. To you. It honors the cause we serve in the country we share. Great years you gave me the honor of serving as your president. Today I'm proud to dedicate this center. To the American people. I am very grateful to President Obama and Michelle for making this -- Unlike the other presidents series actually got a job. President thank you for your kind words and for leading the nation we -- of I appreciate. My fellow members of the former president's club. 4241. And 39. I want to thank you all for your kind words and the example -- Alexander Hamilton once worried about ex president's. Wandering among the people like discontented. Ghosts and actually I think we seem pretty happy. One reason that we have wonderful first ladies and -- -- Hillary -- thank you for your service and your generosity. Mother -- you know how -- -- introduce the world leaders with whom I had the privilege to serve. Your good friends and I'm honored to have you here. In the promised land. I want to welcome the members of congress -- appreciate you coming and the diplomatic core I know you all be happy. To hear this speech is a lot shorter than the state of the union. I thank the governors. Governor own home state other governors mayors. State and local officials who joined us. I welcome members of my cabinet. The White House staff and administration especially Vice President Dick Cheney. From the day I asked Victor Ron -- -- me he -- -- loyalty. Principal. And strength. Proud to call you friend. History is gonna show that I served. With great people. A talented dedicated intelligent men a team of men and women. Who love our nation as much as I do. Our thank the people -- -- this project a success. President Gerald turner -- runs a fantastic university. A university with active -- dedicated faculty and a student body that is. Also. -- thank David ferry over. Alan -- in the professionals at the National Archives and Records Administration. We have taken on a major task. And I am confident you'll handle. Appreciate the architects. Landscape -- and designers especially Bob stern. Michael Randall Rothenberg and Dan Murphy. -- thank the folks of Manhattan construction. As well as all the workers. Who build a fine facility that will stand the test of time. I thank the fantastic team to George W. Bush senator headed by mark -- dale and Jim Glassman. My longtime pal Donny Evans. -- Digital Life. Much to -- Of the folks who worked on this project. We have raise enough money to pay our bills. We have -- We have over 300000. Contributors. From all fifty states. In Florida -- thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This is the first time in American history. That parents have seen their son's presidential library. Mother -- promise to keep my area clean. You know Barbara Bush army to live life to the fullest to laugh a lot and to speak my mind. Trait that sometimes got us both into troubles have. They -- to -- had to be a president before that he showed me how to be a man. And 41 it is awesome that you are here today. I welcome. I welcome my dear Brothers and sister. As well as in laws cousins nephews nieces uncles all of you. For joining us. Our family is meant more to -- than any thing and I thank you for making -- Not so long ago this campus was home to a beautiful west Texan name Laura Welch. When she earned her degree in library science. I'm not sure this -- is exactly what she had in mind. She's been a source of strength and support and inspiration ever since we -- In the O'Neill's backyard in -- and Texas. When the joys of the presidency was watching. -- serve as First Lady. The American people rightly lover. And Soto. Large gum even better natural. Grandmother. It was a joy I can't tell -- what -- -- it was to hold little mile. And I am really happy. That -- mother and father. Jenna and Henry can make it here today thank you -- -- -- -- you don't everything you do on a morning tune ended today show. -- -- -- Thereby continuing the warm relations the bush family has with the national press. And I'm really proud of -- -- with -- for her incredible war. To serve others and to save lives. Today marks a major milestone and a journey that began. Twenty years ago. When I announced my campaign. For governor of taxes. Some of you were there that day I mean a lot of you were there that day I picture you look generally younger. You probably picture made a little less gray hair. In politics. You learn who your real friends -- And our friends have stood with us every step of the way. And today today to -- via a proper thanks. In democracy the purpose of public office. Is not to fulfill personal ambition. Elected officials must serve a cause greater than themselves. The political winds blow left and right -- rise and fall. Supporters come and go. But in the end leaders are defined by the convictions they hold. And my deepest conviction. The guiding principle of the administration. Is that the United States of America. Must strive to expand the reach of freedom. I believe that freedom is a gift from god. And the hope of every human heart. Freedom inspired our founders. And preserve -- union through civil war and secured the promise of civil rights. Freedoms to -- dissidents bound by chains. Believers huddled in underground churches. And voters who risk their lives to cast their ballots. Freedom unleashes creativity. Rewards innovation replaces. Poverty with prosperity. And ultimately freedom -- the path to peace. Freedom brings responsibility. Independence from the state does not mean isolation. From each other. A free society thrives when neighbors helped neighbors. And the strong protect the weak. In public policies promote private compassion. As president I tried to act on these principles every day. One always easy and it's certainly -- always popular. One of the benefits of freedom is that people can disagree. Fair to say -- created plenty of opportunities to exercise their right. But when future generations come to this library -- study this administration. They're gonna find out. That we stayed true to our convictions. That we expanded -- home by raising standards in schools and lowering taxes. For everybody. That we liberated nations from dictator -- and free people from -- And that what our freedom came under attack. We made the tough decisions. Required to keep the American people safe. The same principles define the mission of the presidential sent. I'm retired from politics. Happily so -- -- But not from public service. Will use your influence to help more children start life with a quality education. To help more Americans find jobs and economic opportunity. -- work countries overcome poverty and disease. -- more people in every part of the world live in freedom. We'll work to empower women around the world to transform their countries. Stand behind a courageous men and women who have stepped forward to Wear the uniform of the United States. To defend our flag. And our freedoms here at home. Ultimately the success of a nation depends on the character of its citizens. President I had the privilege see that character up close. I saw the first responders. Who charged up the stairs. Into the flames. To save people's lives from burning towers. I saw the Virginia Tech professor who barricaded his classroom door with his body. -- -- -- students escaped to safety. I saw the people of New Orleans who made homemade boats to rescue their neighbors from the floods. Still on the service members. Who lay down their lives to keep our country safe. And to make other nations free. Franklin Roosevelt -- describe the dedication the libraries an act of faith. I dedicate this library with an unshakable faith in the future of our country. The honor -- a lifetime to lead a country as brave and as noble. As -- United States. Whatever challenges come before us I will always believe. Our nation's best days lie ahead.
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