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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Bush Speaks at White House Ceremony Honoring Nobel Laureates

Aired November 27, 2001 - 13:27   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.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: To the White House now, to President Bush, part of a ceremony honoring U.S., the Nobel Prize laureates.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNTIED STATES: I want to thank members of my cabinet for coming, and I'm grateful that family and friends have joined such a distinguished crowd.

As the ambassador said, for a century now, the Nobel Prize has recognized human striving and accomplishment. Since 1901, more than 700 Nobel Prizes have been awarded 1/3 of those to Americans.

Standing with me are seven of those who have been selected this year. Among the achievement path-breaking discoveries in physics, helping insights in the workings of the market economies and a new treatment for Parkinson's Disease. And all of America congratulates them.

Each Noble laureate here today belongs to an incredibly select group of people. It includes the names of Martin Luther King Jr., George C. Marshal, T.S. Elliot, Albert Einstein, Vice President Charles Daus and President Theodore Roosevelt, the first American Nobel laureate, whose Peace Prize today occupies a praise of honor in the West Wing of the White House. Tomorrow I'll meet with the newest recipient of that prize, Kofi Annan.

Several other noble laureates visited the White House this year, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Shimon Peres. These folks from different regions of the world, but the Nobel foundation is never limited by region or culture. The standard is a universal one. It is awarded to men and women who have served the highest aspirations of humanitarian, and who have done so with success. Many awards recognize excellence. The Nobel foundation recognizes greatness. So much of human progress depends on achievements in medicine, physic, economics, literature and peace.

The annual selection of the laureates expresses profound optimism about humanity and our prospects for improvement. This optimism was captured by William Faulkner when accepting his Nobel Prize a half century ago. I believe he said that "Man will not purely endure. He will prevail. He is immortal, not because alone has inexhaustible voice, but because a soul, a spirit capable of compassion, sacrifice and endurance."

Each of you in your own field of excellence carried forward that same belief in human progress. You achieved greatness in service to others. You've been given great gifts, and you've used them to your fullest.

Our nation is proud of the work each of you have done. We're proud to count you as fellow citizens. We thank for bringing credit to our country and great benefit to mankind.

And now, I would like to invite you into the foyer for a reception.

God bless.

(APPLAUSE)

WOODRUFF: President Bush honoring this year's United States Nobel Prize laureates and a number -- from a number of different fields, talking about how many Americans over time, all the way from Albert Eisenhower to Teddy Roosevelt, to Franklin -- I'm sorry, to Martin Luther King Jr., have been among those honored by the Nobel committee.

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