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President Bush Addresses Graduating Class of U.S. Naval Academy

Aired May 25, 2001 - 10:19   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: The president today speaking at Annapolis, graduating midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy.

We're going to go ahead and listen into what the president has to say.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Your class has so much to be proud of. You've endured the physical shakedown of your Plebe summer and the academic shock of your Plebe year. You've endured sea trials and the trial of the Herndon Climb. You slept in rooms adorned with brass plaques that remind you of predecessors whose chests were adorned with medals of honor.

You've worshipped in a chapel engraved with the words, "Non sibi sed patriae": "Not for self, but for country. You've studied in buildings named after giants, Nimitz, Sampson, Mahan and Michaelson (ph). And just in case the studying wasn't enough, some of you gave the left-handed salute to Tecumseh, the god of 2.0.

(LAUGHTER)

They didn't have that statue where I went to school.

(LAUGHTER)

I wish they had.

(LAUGHTER)

No one made you come here and no one made you stay and no one made you to subject yourself to a code of honor and a life of discipline, but you did. And your president and your country are so very grateful and proud that you have chosen to serve.

(APPLAUSE)

We all know that you did not arrive at this day by yourselves. You had a lot of help. And at the top of this list must go your parents, and I'd like to congratulate them as well.

(APPLAUSE) Class of 2001, you launch yourself into what we all hope will be fair winds and following seas. It's a good time to reflect for a moment on the things that change and the things that never change.

Today, I'm going to talk about the changing world you're entering and the enduring values you'll bring to it.

Presenting the butter bars (ph) to the class of 2001 will be four flag officers from the Naval Academy class of 1951, Admirals Buckhalter (ph), Dunn (ph), McKee (ph) and Metcalf (ph). We're so honored to have them here, as well as a true modern-day hero in your former superintendent, Admiral Bill Lawrence (ph).

The class of '51 and the class of '01 are separated by 50 years, but you have much in common. You exhibit the same patriotism, the same professionalism and the same drive. And let's not forget, both classes beat Army.

(APPLAUSE)

Half a century ago, the class of '51 ventured into a world where the very existence of our nation seemed to hang in the balance. Thanks in part to their service and sacrifice, the values of democratic freedom prevailed throughout some 40...

KAGAN: We've been listening to President Bush as he addresses the graduating midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.

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