Tags: Presidential History | george hw bush | peacetime | address | quotes

George H.W. Bush Peacetime Address Highlights: 6 Quotes From Speech

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 12:24 PM

Faced with the daunting task of presiding over a rapidly changing world as the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush is famous for noting his dream to make the country “a kinder and gentler nation.”

Lauded for the way he handled Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait with Operation Desert Storm, Bush was also criticized on U.S. soil over the weakening economy and the rise in violent crime within inner cities during his tenure. This contributed to his 1992 reelection loss to Bill Clinton.

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Here are six highlights from Bush’s 1989 Inaugural Address, which happened during peacetime. A little more than a year later, the Gulf War began.

1. “I come before you and assume the Presidency at a moment rich with promise. We live in a peaceful, prosperous time, but we can make it better. For a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn; for in man's heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over.”

2. “We know what works: Freedom works. We know what's right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state.”

3. “I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good. We will work hand in hand, encouraging, sometimes leading, sometimes being led, rewarding. We will work on this in the White House, in the Cabinet agencies. I will go to the people and the programs that are the brighter points of light, and I will ask every member of my government to become involved. The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.”

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4. “To the world, too, we offer new engagement and a renewed vow: We will stay strong to protect the peace. The "offered hand" is a reluctant fist; but once made, strong, and can be used with great effect. There are today Americans who are held against their will in foreign lands, and Americans who are unaccounted for. Assistance can be shown here, and will be long remembered. Good will begets good will. Good faith can be a spiral that endlessly moves on.”

5. “There are few clear areas in which we as a society must rise up united and express our intolerance. The most obvious now is drugs. And when that first cocaine was smuggled in on a ship, it may as well have been a deadly bacteria, so much has it hurt the body, the soul of our country. And there is much to be done and to be said, but take my word for it: This scourge will stop.”

6. “Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that. But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning. The new breeze blows, a page turns, the story unfolds. And so today a chapter begins, a small and stately story of unity, diversity, and generosity — shared, and written, together.”

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Faced with the daunting task of presiding over a rapidly changing world as the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush is famous for noting his dream to make the country "a kinder and gentler nation."
george hw bush, peacetime, address, quotes
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2015-24-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 12:24 PM
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