George W. Bush was joined by all four living Presidents of the United States, for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, TX. The last time all five men had met was in 2009, shortly before President Obama’s inauguration. Following is George W. Bush’s dedication speech video, and transcript:
George W. Bush: I’m retired from politics – happily so, I might add, but not from public service. We’ll use our influence to help more children start life with a quality education, to help more Americans find jobs and economic opportunity. To help more countries overcome poverty, and disease. To help 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 the 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. Mr. President, I had the privilege to see that character up close. I saw it in the first responders who charged up the stairs, into the flames, to save people’s lives from burning towers. I saw it in a Virginia Tech professor who barricaded his classroom door with his body, until his students escaped to safety. I saw it in the people of New Orleans, who made homemade boats to rescue their neighbors from the floods. I saw it in our service members, who laid down their lives to keep our nation safe, and to make other nations free. Franklin D. Roosevelt once described the dedication of a library as an act of faith. I dedicate this library with an unshakeable faith in the future of our country. It was the honor of a lifetime to lead a country as brave and as noble as the United States. Whatever challenges come before us, I will always believe our nation’s best days lie ahead.