The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 23, 2002

Remarks by the President at Award Ceremony at Freedom Statue
Vilnius, Lithuania

      NATO Summit Trip

8:24 A.M. (Local)

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, thank you very much. It's an honor to receive this award. And it's an honor to be the first United States President to come to Lithuania. Laura and I are honored to be here.

I want to thank the members of the government who are here, as well -- the Prime Minister, the Speaker, other members of your Cabinet.

This is a great day for Lithuania. It shows the Lithuanians' commitment to freedom, to religious tolerance. It shows the Lithuanians' courage is being rewarded by membership in one of the greatest alliances ever formed.

The NATO Alliance will be stronger with Lithuania's presence. Not only will you help militarily, but, as importantly, your presence will help lift, invigorate the spirit of the European North Atlantic Alliance. After all, Lithuania represents to me the courage of people standing in the face of tyranny, and demanding freedom.

There are thousands of Americans today who rejoice at the fact that Lithuania will be joining with America in the NATO Alliance. I'm proud of your accomplishments and my country is proud to call you friend. May God bless the people of Lithuania. (Applause.)

END 8:26 A.M. (Local)

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