On Thursday there was plenty of pomp and circumstance fitting of the occasion, as all five living U.S. presidents gathered in Dallas to dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
At a cost of $250 million, the center sits on 23 acres on the Southern Methodist University campus. The building houses hundreds of millions of documents, e-mails and artifacts from the Bush administration, along with a library, museum and public policy center.
The dedication ceremony included speeches from all of the presidents, beginning with President Jimmy Carter who spoke about Bush’s work in Africa.
“In January of 2005, there was a peace treaty between north and south Sudan that ended a war that’s been going for 21 years. George W. Bush is responsible for that,” said Carter.
In perhaps the most emotional moment, President George H.W. Bush had few words, but stood up from his wheelchair after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.
President Bill Clinton was the funniest of the group, but ended on a serious note.
“Debate and difference is an important part of every free society. By asking us to join him in the decision he made, and inviting us to make different ones if we choose, he has honored that deepest American tradition,” said Clinton.
President Barack Obama talked about not the president, but the person.
“He knows who he is. He doesn’t put on any pretenses. He takes his job seriously but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is a good man,” said Obama about Bush.
Then, President Bush addressed the thousands of people who had come for him on his day.
“I dedicate this library with an unshakeable faith in the future of our country. It is an honor of a lifetime to lead a country as brave and as noble as the United States. Whatever challenges come before us, I will always believe our nations best days lie ahead. God Bless,” said Bush as he choked up in the moment.