|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
February 22, 2005
Mrs. Bush's Remarks to Students and Faculty in Germany
General H.H. Arnold High School
4:13 P.M. (Local)
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much. Chico, thank you for your very kind introduction and for your great work as student council president -- Mr. President. (Laughter.)
Thank you all for your warm welcome to the home of the Warriors. I should say, the home of the football champions. (Applause.) Congratulations on your win. Principal Goldman told me that the Lions didn't have a chance. (Applause.)
Thanks to the students of the H.H. Arnold Air Force Color Guard. DeAnna, Danielle and Lilah deserve another round of applause for their beautiful singing. (Applause.) Special thanks to Principal Goldman and to all the teachers for your commitment to these children. Thank you also to the men and women of the United States military and the military families here for your dedication to our country.
Although you're serving far from home, millions of Americans are thinking of you every day, and I'm happy to express the gratitude of our entire nation and to convey the personal regards of our Commander-in-Chief, President Bush. On behalf of my husband and all Americans, we want you and all the men and women who are serving around the world to know that we support you, we believe in you and we're proud of you.
People across the country have witnessed the braveness and the courage of your parents. We've seen the kindness, especially to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. In these two countries, your parents have helped to free millions of families and children from decades of tyranny. Your parents have given children the chance to grow up in peace, and I know that you're proud of your parents, just as every American is grateful for their service.
I'm also proud of you. You don't fly jets, or wear uniforms -- but as the children of our military, you serve, too. The courage with which you do so is an inspiration to all of us. You face the challenges of moving to new bases, new schools, even new countries, and you have to learn new languages -- and a few of you even have to take Frau Pow's class. (Laughter and applause.) In each new post, you have to make new friends, and the hardest part, though, is you have to worry about your mom or dad. You have an amazing resiliency to adapt to new situations, friends and cultures. Cherish these experiences; they make you who you are and they'll help you throughout your life.
You also have something that some young people don't: You have incredible role models. As they fight terror or advance freedom, your parents are also changing people's lives. Your moms and dads are supplying whole villages with their first taste of clean water. They're delivering medicine to sick children and supplies to hospitals. They're rebuilding libraries and schools, so that millions of children can study and learn. In fact, thanks to your parents, little girls who were not allowed to be educated at all are going to school for the first time in their lives. (Applause.)
In communities across America, military families are gathering up winter coats, school supplies and books for children around the world. For all of our military men and women, compassion is not simply a part of their mission, it's also a part of their character. And each of you has the same capacity for kindness. The fact that you raised more than $3,000 to help the victims of the tsunami disaster is a testament to your character. Like your parents, make public service a priority throughout your lives, and reach out to those most in need. And don't forget about helping out at home. I know that many of you do help by doing the laundry or babysitting your brothers and sisters or making dinner. Your support gives comfort to your parents at home, and then it also gives comfort to your parents if they're deployed. And your determination to make a home for your family wherever you are matches your parents' devotion to duty.
I know it can be really annoying when your parents are always telling you what to do, but as the mother of two daughters, I can tell you it's not always easy for us, either. You have a way of making a point even when you don't feel like talking. Parents know they're not always right; but your parents love you and you can show your love to them by respecting them. Someday soon, you'll venture out into the world with skills and values that they taught you.
For the seniors here, someday soon is right around the corner. Some of you, like Lauren O'Gara, may come home to America to go to college. Some of you may get a job and go to work right away. And some of you may join the military, like Paul Frye, who was accepted to the Air Force Academy and West Point. (Applause.)
Wherever you go in life, there are a few things I hope you'll always remember. First, treasure your education. Remember that education is freedom and it never ends. So strive to learn every day. I encourage you to learn from your mistakes. Mistakes make life interesting, while learning from your mistakes makes life meaningful. Read more than Cliffs Notes -- (laughter) -- buy a bookcase and fill it with classics, and read them. And, finally, remember to appreciate the little things in life -- and especially the people in your life. Say "I love you" to someone every day, especially to yourself.
I've visited with military children and families around the world, and I'm in awe of your courage and your resiliency. Next time you email your mom and dad, tell them how much President Bush and I appreciate their courage and their dedication.
And there is one more important bit of advice I forgot to mention, and this is especially important for the lower class men: Whatever you do, don't walk on the Crest. (Laughter and applause.)
Thank you all, each one of you, for everything you do to support your families and your country. Keep studying, and help your parents. And may God bless you and may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
END 4:22 P.M. (Local)