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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 11, 2001

Remarks by the President When Meeting the Parents of Petty Officer Third Class Steven Blocher
Concord Middle School
Concord, North Carolina

12:40 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I'm so honored that the Blocher family came to say hello. Obviously, when we were going to visit, we were just going to visit in a quiet way, a private way. Now that their son, Steven, will be coming home soon, I thought it would be appropriate for us to visit and then visit some with the press.

These good folks are patriots, as is their son. It's a patriotic family. We had other family members served our country. Steven was one of the 24. I know they're thrilled he's coming home. But I'm so appreciative of how this family and the other families were steadfast in their patriotism and loyalty. They raised a boy who loves his country, and we owe a debt of gratitude to not only the servicemen and women, but to their parents, as well. So that's why I wanted to see you.

MR. BLOCHER: This morning worked out even better than we had hoped. It's an honor to meet the President; but to meet the President under such happy circumstances was more than we could ask the Lord for in any way.

THE PRESIDENT: It's my honor to have you all. Thanks. We're watching very carefully; progress is being made, and that's very good news for this group of folks.

12:42 P.M. EDT

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