George W. Bush Gets Statue in Albanian Town

He was first to visit the country after its liberation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2011 12:32 PM CDT
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha unveils a statue of former President George W. Bush in downtown Fushekruje on July 6, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP)
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(Newser) – Take heart, George W. Bush. Sure, you left office to some pretty unflattering reviews, but a tiny village in Albania positively loves you. The town of Fushekruje unveiled a 9-foot-3 statue of the former president yesterday, in a square specially named in his honor, Reuters reports. A crowd gathered for the event, and American flags were flown alongside Albanian ones to celebrate. Even Prime Minister Sali Berisha showed up.

What did Bush do to earn such devotion? Well, he was the first president to visit post-communist Albania, and the country is feverishly pro-American because it credits the US with both ending its Cold War isolation and stopping Serbia’s ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians in 1999. Bush’s visit seems to have had a deep effect on the locals. “I will not die without meeting him again,” vowed one 72-year-old.

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