Putting aside partisan differences, at least for the day, all five living U.S. Presidents and their First Ladies shared the stage to honor the service of President George W. Bush at Thursday’s dedication ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, TX. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton each expressed respect and appreciation for President Bush. President Obama said of his predecessor:
…what President Clinton said is absolutely true — to know the man is to like the man, because he’s comfortable in his own skin. He knows who he is. He doesn’t put on any pretenses. He takes his job seriously, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is a good man….
we also know something about George Bush the leader…. the incredible strength and resolve that came through that bullhorn as he stood amid the rubble and the ruins of Ground Zero, promising to deliver justice to those who had sought to destroy our way of life. We remember the compassion that he showed by leading the global fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria, helping to save millions of lives and reminding people in some of the poorest corners of the globe that America cares and that we’re here to help.
President Bush, clearly touched by the moment and most certainly proud to be a new grandfather, declared:
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…. A free society thrives when neighbors help neighbors and the strong protect the weak and public policies promote private compassion. As president I tried to act on these principles every day.”
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University and opens to the public on May 1.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: April 26, 2013