Skip to comments.Live Thread: President Bush Farewell Address 8 P.M. EST ("this great Nation will never tire …")
Posted on 01/15/2009 3:25:03 PM PST by kristinn
President George W. Bush will address the nation from the East Room of the White House at 8 p.m. EST.
The White House released excerpts of the speech to the media:
Five days from now, the world will witness the vitality of American democracy. In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people. Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land. This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole Nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-elect Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two beautiful girls.
Tonight I am filled with gratitude. I thank the American people for the trust you have given me. I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. And I thank you for the countless acts of courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed these past eight years.
This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house September 11, 2001. That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives in the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor.
As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.
Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security has been created. The military, the intelligence community, and the FBI have been transformed. Our Nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists movements, freeze their finances, and break up their plots. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them.
There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil. This is a tribute to those who toil day and night to keep us safe law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity. We are standing with dissidents and young democracies, providing AIDS medicine to bring dying patients back to life, and sparing mothers and babies from malaria. And this great republic born alone in liberty is leading the world toward a new age when freedom belongs to all nations.
For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home. Across our country, students are rising to meet higher standards in public schools. A new Medicare prescription drug benefit is bringing peace of mind to seniors and the disabled. Every taxpayer pays lower income taxes. The addicted and suffering are finding new hope through faith-based programs. Vulnerable human life is better protected. Funding for our veterans has nearly doubled. Americas air, water, and lands are measurably cleaner. And the Federal bench includes wise new members like Justice Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.
Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.
The decades ahead will bring more hard choices for our country, and there are some guiding principles that should shape our course.
While our Nation is safer than it was seven years ago, the gravest threat to our people remains another terrorist attack. Our enemies are patient, and determined to strike again. America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard.
At the same time, we must continue to engage the world with confidence and clear purpose. In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.
As we address these challenges and others we cannot foresee tonight America must maintain our moral clarity. I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise.
Even in the toughest times, we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.
I have confidence in the promise of America because I know the character of our people. This is a Nation that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom. This is a Nation where citizens show calm in times of danger and compassion in the face of suffering.
These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there is more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great Nation will never tire
and never fail.
Thanks for keeping us safe, President Bush! We will miss you and your fine V.P. Dick Cheney as well as your wonderful wife Laura!
I missed it. I’m going to cry.
I agree, and am going to miss him. I only had the amnesty problem with him and the not pardoning the border agents Compean and Ramos. I wish them the best and I will continue to urge the Obama administration with the pardoning of these wrongly convicted agents.
I especially enjoyed Pres. Bush’s comment about ‘making difficult decisions’ and how at least he did make difficult decisions. It reminded me of Obama’s voting record in the Senate, you know, his voting ‘present’ really was not making important decisions concerning legislation.
I told them all of my money was going to the Bush Library at SMU.
I would also like to thank the Vice President for being a strong supporter of our President. I also thank the Vice President would have made a great President, God forbid of course.
Also, a big thanks goes out to our First Lady. Laura Bush help bring back some dignity, honor, respect, and class to the White House.
May God bless the President and his family, the Vice President and his family, and our Troops.
God bless President Bush and his family. You will be missed.
I love George W. Bush and have for 20 plus years. I know him and he is a man of honor, courage and a man who is at peace with his 8 years in office. The media and the left have made him out to be a mad stupid person. He is far from either. So yes, you can call me a Bushbot!
I was balling at the end. Especially thinking about how maligned this man has been by our media and the democrats. I honestly feel nothing but hatred for most of them now. The fact that they have dragged me down to that level just makes me hate them more....lol.
God Bless you President Bush! My family is eternally grateful for your steadfastness and honor in protecting our country since 911! May the good Lord smile on you and bring you and your family his blessings and grace for the rest of your life.
Soon -- perhaps in a month or two -- there will be an office for him, probably in the Dallas area since I belive that's where George and Laura are going to live. You might consider keeping an eye on the Dallas Morning News website in case they indicate where the office will be located.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens when they no longer have Bush to blame. Every bad thing that happens will be because “it’s how Bush left it for Obama”.
That sorry excuse for a President will be untouchable and unchecked. He will do no wrong.
I just pray that if Obama is tested by the world, and he will be, it will not cost another 3,000 American lives.
Take a look at the part of the glass that has content once in a while you wanton for crisis, lacking of appreciation, and hateful "hack".
LOL! I hear ya.
Maybe it’ll be like Bobby Ewing and it will have all been a dream!
Hateful hack? LOL!
I don’t think anyone who admires President Bush owes ANY of his critics any accommodation on interpretation. I think we should interpret Bush critics the way they interpreted President Bush.
What this would mean is that if we have any ideal in mind which your criticism does not fulfill 100% we should act like absolute jerks and attack you in a visceral direct manner that implicates you as a moral void. If there is anything that we personally desire and your comments do not immediately satiate or quench that desire then we can accuse you of any manner of moral desertion. I think we have learned a lot these past six years about criticism.
Does that sound like a fair arrangement dragnet?
Just couldn’t give it 20 minutes... I heard at least four people mentioned as examples of great Americans, hence, not all about him.
Did he do anything you approved of?
re: your list
What does he have to do with congress having no balls?
If you were paying attention, he was the same way in Texas, before he came to D.C. (and we know illegals just started coming when he swore in).
Did you complain about the first six years of his term?
(don’t answer, i’m sure you did); Now add 9/11 and fighting two wars... while we on the mainland felt sacrifice didn’t apply to us (as in WWII), and bitched about every other thing except how you felt when the first planes went back up that day... and what you thought when you heard them.
I look forward to your run in 2012... and your happiness with the Obama administration. Now you’ll see a destroyed country, an islamist invasion, another smoldering whole in one of our great cities and some real big government spending. I know, Bush’s fault.
SavageWeiner(sp) is that you?
makes me hope that one day the shield will be on display in the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
I'm sure it will be.
Come to think of it, there may be more historic items in his library than there are in most others.
He has the bullhorn that he spoke with at ground zero. Bob Beckwith, the retired fireman that stood by his side when he said "I can hear YOU!", visited the White House and gave the bullhorn to the President personally.
President George W. Bush welcomes retired New York firefighter Bob Beckwith and his wife Barbara to the Oval Office Feb. 25 . Mr. Beckwith and New York Governor George Pataki visited the White House to present the President with the bullhorn the President used to talk with recovery workers during a visit to the World Trade Center Sept. 14, 2001.
President Bush also has the Texas Lonestar patch that Marcus Luttrell, the Lone Survivor of SEAL Team 10, wore while he was serving in Afghanistan.
From the book LONE SURVIVOR:
And then he [President Bush] saw me glance at his desk, and on it was the battle patch that I'd asked Admiral Mullin to present to him. The president grinned and said, "Remember this?"
"Yessir." Did I ever remember it. I'd hidden that baby in my Afghan trousers, just to make sure those Taliban bastards didn't get it. And now here it was again, right on the desk of the president of the United States, the Lone Star of Texas, battle worn but still there.
We talked privately for a few minutes, and it was clear to me, President Bush knew all about the firefight on Murphy's Ridge [named after fallen SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy]. And indeed how I had managed to get out of there.
At the end of our chat, I reached over and picked up the patch, just for old times' sake. And the president suddenly said, in that rich Texan accent, "Now you put that down, boy! That doesn't belong to you anymore."
We both laughed, and he told me my former battle patch was going to his future museum.
As I left the Oval Office he told me, "Anything you need, Marcus. That's anything. You call me right here, on that phone, understand?"
"Yessir." And it still felt to me like two Texans meeting for the first time. One of 'em kinda paternal, understanding. The other absolutely awestruck in the presence of a very great United States presidnt, and my commander in chief.
I accidentally changed channels after the speech and sat there with my mouth open before vowing to NEVER WATCH HIS SHOW AGAIN.
I will write him asking how he can criticize a man who followed his principles rather than be guided by the whims and opinions of others. This is the same man who two months ago condemned Hillary for using her husband coattails to have come as far as she did and didn't have the experience to run for President. Whereas today, he commented how truly courageous she was risking ridicule after the Lewinsky saga to run for the NY Senate seat, and to have won the seat ON HER OWN MERITS.