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[万花筒] 【整理】2008-12-20&12-21 布什在德州的毕业典礼讲话

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President Bush Delivers Commencement Address at Texas A&M University

President Bush Delivers Commencement Address at Texas A&M University


THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all.  Howdy!

THE PRESIDENT: I am thrilled to be back in Aggieland. (Applause.) Andit's always an honor to be introduced by the President of the UnitedStates -- especially when he's your Dad. And how about Mom? Mom, I'vebeen meaning to say this publicly for a long time -- thanks, thanks forthe gray hair. (Laughter.)

I congratulate the graduates of the Fighting Texas Aggie Classes of2008 -- (applause) -- class of 2007 -- (applause) -- the class of 2006-- I'd better stop. (Laughter.) Let's just say that I hope there's noone left from when I spoke to the commencement in 1998. (Laughter.) Ifso, I hope you're walking out of here with a Ph.D. (Laughter.)

I am grateful to the faculty and staff of Texas A&M for theirdevotion to learning and their example of scholarship. I appreciateyour outstanding President, Dr. Elsa Murano. And I am glad to be with-- there you go. (Applause.) And I am glad to travel from Washingtontoday with three fine Aggies representing Texas in the United StatesCongress -- Congressmen Chet Edwards, Joe Barton, and Jeb Hensarling.(Applause.)

I am pleased to see so many of your families and loved ones here today.While you bled maroon, they bled a lot of green. (Laughter.) So pleasejoin me in thanking all those whose support made it possible for you toreach this proud day. (Applause.)

There is one person who wishes he could be here today -- andthat's your former President, and America's Secretary of Defense, BobGates. (Applause.) You know, he's got an excused absence. It's not likehe's over at the Dixie Chicken. (Laughter.) He's traveling to theMiddle East, consulting with our generals, and showing his support forthe men and women of the United States Armed Forces. (Applause.)

When I asked Bob to be the Secretary of Defense, it was clear how muchhe loved Texas A&M. After all, he refused to come to Washingtonuntil after he attended the winter commencement. And I was even moreimpressed when he insisted on standing during the Cabinet meetings --(laughter) -- claiming he was the "12th Man." (Laughter.) One day, heexplained it all. He said: "Mr. President, I'm red ass." (Applause.)

I'll say this for A&M -- you've got some mighty finetraditions. (Applause.) Back in my day, I think I would have enjoyeddunking my ring. (Applause.) I would have loved to have taken Laura to"midnight yell." (Applause.) I especially like the traditions aroundReveille. Anytime she barks during a class lecture, everyone in theroom is dismissed. (Applause.) I wish she had been there for some ofthose press conferences. (Laughter and applause.)

This campus is home to solemn rituals that demonstrate thestrength of your bonds. In playing of Silver Taps to honor fallenclassmates, in the reunion of students and alumni to read the roll callat Muster, and in wearing of your timeless rings, you affirm a powerfultruth: Once an Aggie, always an Aggie. (Applause.)

Traditions like these are central to the A&M experience. And so isacademic excellence, and all of you will benefit from your rigorouscourses of study. I suspect you'll also find that some of your mostimportant learning took place outside the classroom -- in thefriendships you formed, perspective you gained, and the things youdiscovered about yourselves. When you leave this campus, you will bewell prepared for any endeavor you choose. To those of you who havejobs lined up, I -- congratulations. To those not exactly sure whatcomes next -- I know how you feel. (Laughter and applause.)

As our days in the White House wind down, we're going through aseries of "lasts." I pardoned my last Thanksgiving turkey. Lauradecorated for her last Christmas in the White House. And Barney bit hislast reporter. (Laughter.) Or at least that's what we hope. (Laughter.)

This is also my last commencement address as President.(Applause.) And it is fitting that it takes place here in Texas, whereI have been so blessed over the years. I was raised here by wonderfulparents, surrounded by brothers and sisters whose love still sustainsme. And Texas is where I went to a backyard barbeque and met abeautiful teacher named Laura Welch. Texas is where our girls were bornand our lifelong friends live. And next month, when our time inWashington is done, Texas is where we're coming home. (Applause.)

These days, I'm asked a lot about my time as President. Some days havebeen happy, some days not so happy -- every day joyous. It's been atremendous privilege. I have traveled across our nation, and to 74countries around the world. I have slept in Buckingham Palace; I havefeasted in the desert of Abu Dhabi; I've watched the sunrise inJerusalem. I have spoken to campaign rallies in packed stadiums, and tohundreds of thousands in Romania's Revolution Square. I've taken MarineOne into America's biggest cities, and visited many of our smallesttowns. Through it all, nothing has inspired me more than the characterof the American people -- the acts of courage and service that sustainour free society, and make this the greatest nation on Earth.(Applause.)

Courage and service are cherished here at A&M, and they arevalues that I hope will guide you for the years to come. So thismorning, I thought I would share a few of the most powerful examples ofcourage and service that I have witnessed over the past eight years.


Noact of courage or service is more impressive than volunteering for theUnited States military. Eight years ago, a brave 17-year-old namedChristian Bagge made that noble choice when he stepped forward to jointhe Oregon National Guard. In 2005, Christian's unit was on patrol inIraq when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb. He lost both his legs, and hethought he would lose his life. But with determination and superbmedical care, this good man survived.

I met him at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.He told me he used to be a runner and he planned to run again. I wasimpressed by his courage, but it was hard to imagine a man with suchsevere injuries ever being able to run. I said to him offhandedly, youknow, when you're ready to run just call me, I'll be glad to run withyou -- and moved on. !

Well, then one day, a phone call came to the Oval Office. Itwas Christian. He said, "I'm ready to take you up on your offer, Mr.President." Just five months after I'd seen him in the hospital, heshowed up at the White House with legs made of carbon fiber -- and aspirit stronger than steel. Together, we took a lap around the SouthLawn. I'll admit, he left his Commander-In-Chief in the dust.(Laughter.) And he left me with great admiration for his unshakabledetermination, his upbeat spirit, and his inspiring example for allAmericans. (Applause.)

People like Christian show the true strength of our military --and so do the families who support them. Last year in Reno, Nevada, Imet a orthopedic surgeon named Bill Krissoff. His son Nathan, a Marine,had given his life in Iraq. Dr. Krissoff told me he wanted to join theNavy Medical Corps in Nathan's honor. I looked at this remarkable man,I said: "How old are you?" He said he was 60 years old. He needed aspecial waiver to qualify for the Navy. I was thinking I'm 61, so hedidn't sound all that old. (Laughter.) I asked his wife what shethought of the whole thing, and she said she supported his decision. SoI went back to Washington -- and surprisingly enough, a few days laterthe waiver came through.

Since then, Dr. Krissoff has undergone extensive training inbattlefield medicine. And soon he will deploy to Iraq, where he'll helpsave the wounded, uphold the legacy of his fallen son, and inspire theUnited States of America. (Applause.)


PettyOfficer Greg Guillory is also in the Navy. But that is not the only wayhe serves. Greg lost his mother in a car accident at a young age, andhis stepmother suffered from a serious drug addiction. Greg earned afour-year scholarship to play college football -- he was a high schoolplayer here in the state of Texas. But he turned down that scholarshipso he could stay home to help his family confront its problems.Eventually, he decided to join the Navy, where he found a strong andsupportive environment.

While stationed in San Diego, Greg met his wife Shonda, who hadalso endured a painful childhood. Together, they resolved to helpchildren trapped in difficult circumstances, and made the selfless andcompassionate decision to become foster parents. They spent a yearcaring for a 17-year-old who been abused. Then they took in a14-year-old who had been beaten, then a baby born with drugs in hersystem, and then a three-year-old whose mother was in jail. Today theyare caring for two children, a brother and sister, as well as the babygirl Shonda delivered last month. "

And all the while, Greg has been carrying out his duties in uniform. Heis stationed at Camp David, Maryland -- and this generous man who hasgiven so much to others feels so grateful himself. During a movingtestimony at the Camp David chapel that I was fortunate enough towitness this past Thanksgiving, he said: "I am thankful that Godcontinues to bless me so I can be a blessing for children in need."

America is blessed to have citizens like Greg and Shonda, whose heartsare big enough to share the greatest gift of all -- the gift of love.(Applause.)

Kendrick Kennedy shared that gift, too, after Hurricane Katrinastruck his hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi. Even though his own househad been damaged, Kendrick put others first -- helping family membersfind shelter, and cleaning up debris in neighbors' yards. There'sanother piece of the story: Kendrick is blind. A few years before thestorm, he lost his sight -- and his job. But he refused to let thathold him back. He enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.I met him there when I spoke at his commencement. He went on to theUniversity of Southern Mississippi, where he became the first blindstudent to graduate summa cum laude. Now he's in law school in OleMiss. And this good man has set a high goal -- to serve our country asa justice on the Supreme Court. (Applause.)

Other Americans show courage by summoning the hidden strengthto overcome their weaknesses. Four years ago, I met LetitiaChavez-Paulette. She had been addicted to drugs; she served time forher mistakes. While in prison, she joined a faith-based program calledCelebrate Recovery, and to help turn her life around. When she wasreleased, Letitia was determined to support other women returning tosociety. So she started a transitional home called "A PeacefulHabitation" -- a name taken from the Book of Isaiah. Here's whatLetitia said: "God's grace has kept me going. His love has kept mestrong. And my faith is a gift that is helping me help others."


Inthese stories, we see the courage and service that defined America atits best. And that same spirit has long defined Texas A&M. It's thespirit of General Earl Rudder, who helped lead the D-Day invasion andserved more than a decade as A&M's president. It is the spirit ofthe Corps of Cadet, which includes nearly 1,800 Aggies. It is thespirit of your ROTC program, which routinely commissions more officersthan any school outside the service academies. It's the spirit of the21 Aggies who've given their lives to keep America safe since Septemberthe 11th, 2001 -- a sacrifice that will be honored forever by your"Freedom from Terrorism" memorial.

That same spirit is visible on this campus in many ways beyondthe military. A&M is home to "The Big Event" -- the largeststudent-run community service project in the nation. After HurricaneIke hit the Texas coast, you welcomed more than 1,600 "Sea Aggies" fromA&M's Galveston campus to College Station. And in countless otheracts of volunteerism and charity, you have made Texas A&M's namesynonymous with service.

On your last day as A&M students, my call to you is tocontinue this spirit long after you leave the campus. There are so manyneeds to be met, and so many ways you can help -- from mentoring achild to becoming a teacher, to volunteering to feed the hungry or healthe sick overseas. If you hear the call to service in the military orgovernment, answer it. If you enter the private sector, be proud ofcontributing to our prosperity -- and give back to your communities.Wherever life leads you, pursue the path of service -- and you willfind fulfillment beyond measure.

As you embark on this journey, let me leave you with a few lastpieces of advice. First, listen to your mother. (Laughter andapplause.) As you can see, Mom is out of the hospital and everything isback to normal. After all, she's still telling me what to do.(Laughter.)

Second, develop a set of principles to live by -- convictions andideals to guide your course. There will be times when people tell you adifferent way is more accepted or popular. Remember that popularity isas fleeting as the Texas wind. Character and conscience are as sturdyas the oaks on this campus. If you go home at night, look in the mirrorand be satisfied that you have done what is right, you will pass theonly test that matters. (Applause.)

And finally, be on the lookout for role models -- people whose conductyou admire and whose paths you can follow. With that in mind, I haveone last example of courage and service. It's a story of a young manwho left comfort behind to answer his nation's call, became theyoungest pilot in the Navy, and nearly gave his life in World War II.When he came back home, he devoted his career to public service, andproved that success in politics can be accomplished with decency andgrace. He reached the pinnacle in government, but he defines his lifeby other roles -- a father who gave unconditional love, a grandfatherdevoted to his grandchildren, and a beloved husband of the sweethearthe married a lifetime ago. Some of you will leave A&M with a degreethat carries this good man's name -- George Bush. I have been blessedand honored to have carried it for 62 years. (Applause.)

I want to thank you. I want to thank you for the opportunity to sharethis special day with you. I congratulate you. When I leave office nextmonth, I will depart confident in the future of our country, because Ihave faith in each of you. I will depart uplifted by the many acts ofcourage and service that I have witnessed these past eight years. Iwill depart grateful for the outpouring of support and prayers thathave strengthened Laura and me. And I will depart ready to come home tothe people I have missed and the place I love -- the state of Texas.(Applause.)

And so, after all this, there is only one thing left to say: Gig'emAggies! (Applause.) Congratulations, and may God bless you. (Applause.)

Video Available




When you leave this campus, you will be well-prepared for any endeavor you choose. To those of you who have jobs lined up, I, I congratulations! To those of you not exactly sure what comes next, I know how you feel.
As you embark on this journey let me leave you with a few last pieces of advice. First, listen to your mother.
As you can see, mom is out of the hospital and everything is back to normal. After all, she's still telling me what to do. Second, develop a set of principles to live by, convictions and ideals to guide your course.
Remember that popularity is as fleeting as the Texas wind, character and conscience are as sturdy as the oaks on this campus. If you go home at night, look in the mirror and be satisfied that you have done what is right, you'll pass the only test that matters.
And finally be on the lookout for role models, people whose conduct you admire and whose paths you can follow.
Gig'em Aggies!. Congratulations, and may God bless you.



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When you leave this campus,you will be well prepared for any endeavor you choose.To those of you who've jobs lined up,I congratulations.to those of you not exactly sure what comes next,I know how you feel.
As you embark on this journey let me leave you with a few last pieces of advice.First,listen to your mother.
As you can see,mom is out of the hospital and everything is back to normal.After all,she's still telling me what to do.Second,develop a set priciples to live by,convictions and ideals to guide your course.
Remember that popularity is as fleeting as the texas wind,Character and conscience are as sturdy as the oaks on this campus.if you go home at night,look in the mirror and be satisfied that you have done what is right,you'll pass the only test that matters.
And finally be on the lookout for role models,people who conduct you admire and whose path you can follow.
Gig'em Aggies(1)! Congratulations, and may God bless you.