The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document


Foreword by President George W. Bush

September 11 was a tragic day in our Nation’s history and the history of the world. No American, and no civilized person, would wish the evil of that day on anyone. So much grief and sorrow were inflicted on so many of our fellow citizens, and people around the world. Yet we also know that out of tragedy, strength and hope and even good can come. One of the best ways to counter evil is through the gathering momentum of millions of acts of service and decency and kindness.

Since September 11, Americans have responded magnificently, with courage and compassion, unity and purpose, resolve and fierce determination. We have seen the true character of the American people reveal itself in unity and generosity, patriotism and civic pride. The deep bonds of affection that we have seen in people helping people in need have blessed our land. Our great challenge now is to encourage this outpouring of service and civic pride -- and to harness it to a great national purpose. This is the underlying principle of the USA Freedom Corps.

The USA Freedom Corps will encourage and support those who want to serve their country. Countless Americans now serve in countless ways to improve our Nation and our world. The USA Freedom Corps values this spirit and seeks to build upon it. The USA Freedom Corps will provide opportunities and create incentives for Americans to become even more involved in serving their communities and country -- and in serving the people of other nations.

Volunteerism and community service are central to the history of our Nation. Americans have always been a decent and deeply generous people, willing to help those in need. That was true before September 11. It is truer today. The Federal Government did not create this civic spirit; but we do have a responsibility to help support and encourage it where we can. The USA Freedom Corps is another way in which my Administration will work to contribute to that great cause.

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