George W. Bush's presidential library got its formal dedication today in Dallas, with all five living presidents making the trip. "Oh happy day," Bush said as he took the stage. "41, it is awesome that you are here today," continued the man of honor in reference to his father, reports the AP. As for visitors to the site: "They’re going to find out that we stayed true to our convictions, that we expanded freedom at home by raising standards at school and lowering taxes for everybody, that we liberated nations from dictatorship and freed people from AIDS," said the younger Bush, as noted by NBC News. "And that when freedom came under attack, we made the tough decisions required to make the American people safe.”
Some other notable comments:
- President Obama: He praised Bush's resolve after 9/11, his help fighting AIDS in Africa, and his commitment to immigration reform, reports the New York Times. "We know President Bush the man. 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 the job seriously but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s a good man."
- President Carter: He also praised Bush for his AIDS push in Africa, along with helping to stop Sudan's long civil war: "Mr. President let me say that I am filled with admiration for you and deep gratitude for you about the great contributions you've made to the most needy people on Earth."
- President Clinton: He touched on similar themes, and jokingly recalled his private conversations with his successor. "Dear God, I hope there’s no record of those conversations in this vast and beautiful building."
- Laura Bush: "I remember how steadfast and steady he was for eight years. My George is a man who when someone needs a hand offers them their arms."