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

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Texas Keel Laying Ceremony in Newport News, Virginia
As Delivered
Newport News, Virginia

Thank you, Tom (Schievelbein, President of Northrop Grumman Newport News) and thanks also to Mike Toner (President, Electric Boat) for hosting this great event.

Secretary England,

Admiral Clark,

Senator Allen,

Senator Warner.

In 1998, the Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton- who is here with me today - asked me to participate in this keel-laying tradition. I've had a change of address since then.but I'm still a Texan, of course, and I'm thrilled to help authenticate the United States Navy submarine Texas.

I want to thank John Fremont, a native Texan, who's going to weld my initials into permanence in a few minutes. John hasn't lived in Texas since he was six years old, but if you're born in Texas, you're always a little bit Texan.

Standing under this flag makes my heart swell with pride in my home state, and my country.

I haven't had a chance to talk "Texas" in a while, so I'm glad to share my thoughts on the subject.although I can't promise that they'll be impartial.

In the Edna Ferber book, Giant, a character called "Old Judge Whiteside," says, "Texas is the most American country in the whole United States."

In many ways, that's true. A Texan will tell you that the Lone Star State is a land of heroes and legends.and you won't find a more patriotic bunch of people anywhere. Texans love to brag - it's one of our favorite pastimes. If something is newer, bigger and better.then it must be from Texas.

Texas is a place where people believe in great adventures, boundless optimism, and always a bright future. And Texas is the land of the cowboy - an all-American fellow who is polite and slow to anger but who also has an iron fist and steel-toed boots. He works hard on his own land, but he won't hesitate to help his neighbor.

These characteristics make up what is sometimes called "The Texas Spirit." Of course, it is also the American spirit.

I believe that this spirit will be built into the core of this ship and its crew. And I believe that the United States Navy submarine Texas will evoke the same optimism and bragging rights as the state for which it's named.

Skilled professionals will forge the newest alloys and technology into one of the most sophisticated ships in the world. The Texas will represent America's iron fist, which our country uses to defend freedom; to protect our citizens; and to help our neighbors and allies around the world.

In the Texas vernacular, this ship will be bigger and better than anything, anywhere and it will be manned by heroes and legends of the United States Navy.

A mighty American submarine deserves a mighty American name. I can't think of a better name than Texas.

Thank you.

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