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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
March 12, 2002

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the Girl Scouts 90th Anniversary Gala
As Delivered

Thank you, Deborah (Roberts), and thank you girls.

When I meet young people like these girls I am optimistic. These Scouts are learning the qualities of future leaders, and that brings everyone great hope.

President Bush and I were both Scouts when we were young. President Bush's mother, Barbara Bush, was the den mother for his Cub Scout troop. Some say that's when her hair turned white.

When I was a Girl Scout, my mother was our troop leader. I learned a little bit about "community" during those years…and this year — last month, in fact — I learned about the global Girl Scout community when I met with Girl Scouts in Seoul, Korea.

American Girl Scouts sent gifts for the occasion — including "Thinking Day" cards — a Girl Scout tradition that promotes unity among countries and cultures (every year on Thinking Day). This cultural exchange reminded me how important it is to reach out to others around the world — to explore our differences and celebrate our common interests. And Girl Scouts have the perfect opportunity to reach out to other Girl Scouts.

The world is a better place because of Girl Scouts. I know that today's Scouts will remember their experiences with both pride and happiness. And it is with great happiness that I congratulate this year's National Women of Distinction…women whose generous work is motivated by a simple desire to make life better in America.

I know a couple of these women well. The others I know by their outstanding reputation.

All of these women are leaders who are respected and admired. Their careers are as diverse as their accomplishments, but they share the same distinction of serving others well. They have proven themselves to be women of leadership and women of heart, women of immense talent.

President Bush and I salute the 2001 Women of Distinction and Girl Scouts USA. Congratulations on 90 great years of making America, and our world, a better place. Here's to another 90 years of service. Thank you.

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