For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 26, 2001
Remarks by the President
In Bill Signings
in Honor of Senator Paul Coverdell
the Indian Treaty Room
9:14 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank
you. Ours is a city here full of memorials, full of symbols
of America's gratitude for service. And today we come
together to honor one such man, who dedicated his life to
service. A life who left us far too soon.
Nancy, welcome. I want to thank
you and your family members for being here. I want to thank
Trent and members of the United States Senate. One reason he
didn't ask you to speak he was afraid you were going to go on too long,
Phil. (Laughter.) I appreciate Senator
Miller. I thank the Georgia delegation for coming, members
of the Congress. It's good to see the former Speaker; thank
you for being here, as well.
I appreciate John Ashcroft, the Attorney
General, for being here; and Elaine Chao, members of my
Cabinet. I'm so honored that members -- former directors of
the Peace Corps are here, including the current Acting Director, Chuck
Baquet. Thank you for being here, as well.
I thank Michael Adams, the President of
the University of Georgia, for being here. And I want to
thank my Ambassador-designee to the Vatican, Jim Nicholson, for being
here, as well.
Paul Coverdell was a man of unusual
abilities and striking character. He spoke with candor when others
might hide the unpleasant truth. He was wise and reasonable
in a city that often lacks both virtues. He was a man of
principle who understood our political system's essential need for
compromise. He was respected by both allies and
And the causes to which he dedicated
himself drew all his energy and thought and effort and
commitment. He understood every parent's hopes for a quality
education. So he pressed for tax-free savings accounts for
education expenses. Today, his idea is law. And
today, we rename those accounts for him: The Coverdell
Education Savings Accounts.
He had a great heart and compassion for
others, and that could be seen in his imaginative and strong leadership
of the Peace Corps. As the Corps' first post-Cold War
director, he had a vision for a new era, and the leadership to bring
those dreams into being.
So, today, in his honor, we rename the
Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Paul D. Coverdell
Peace Corps Headquarters. And we also renamed the Peace
Corps World Wise School Program, the Paul D. Coverdell World Wise
Paul was a champion of science and medical
research. Wherever Americans push the frontiers of
knowledge, they're advancing in the spirit of Paul
Coverdell. And so, I applaud Senator Miller for his
leadership in the decision to name the University of Georgia's new
health science building for Paul.
You know, Paul and Nancy were frequent
visitors to my folks' house in Maine. They were such good
friends that Mother got them to plant roses. She's a pretty tough
taskmaster. (Laughter.) You can imagine old Paul
out there digging away, Mother yelling, "More
dirt." (Laughter.) The hole would be dug and
Mother saying, "You put the rose bush in there." At any
rate, we get to now see the roses, and we think of Paul. The
flowers bloom only a short time, but like the roots of those bushes,
his memory lasts a long time. And the fruits of his labors
we will see for a long time coming.
I've spoken today of honoring
Paul. The truth is, he honored us by his selfless
service. We're lucky to have known him.
It is now my honor to sign the bills
honoring a great man.
(The bills are signed.) (Applause.)