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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
July 9, 2002

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at National Endowment for Democracy Awards
As Delivered

Thank you, and congratulations to the National Endowment for Democracy award winners. These women are forces for freedom and human rights in the Muslim world. President Bush joins me in saluting them.

Twenty years ago, President Ronald Reagan said: "Let us now begin a major effort to secure the best-a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and fortitude of the next generation. For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny."

I think President Reagan would be inspired by our progress, as we are all inspired by the work of this year's award winners.

Through the National Endowment for Democracy, we support and acknowledge those who harness the energy and will of all people to be free -- and use that energy to change the world for the better.

We recognize these four women for their courage and tenacity:

They monitor the conditions of human rights and freedom around the world.

They speak out against tyranny and injustice.

They educate children - and the teachers who teach them - about the values of freedom, about civic responsibility; about peace and democracy.

They fight for free press, free speech, public safety, public debate and other elements that contribute to the growth of democratic values in the Muslim world.

We look to their countries -- Iran, Uzbekistan, Somalia, and Algeria -- and we call on them to keep the promise of freedom that people yearn for so desperately.

All people must be free to determine their own destinies, develop their own culture and choose their own path. What does it take to ensure freedom? It takes people working together, believing in the same basic elements of civilized society in every country, and in every culture.

Respect for democracy, human rights, free media and the rule of law - these rights must be guaranteed throughout the Muslim world and all parts of the world. Together, the United States and the allies of democracy, like these women, are proving that the forces of terror can't stop the momentum of freedom. Thank you.

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