GEORGE H. W. BUSH & WILLIAM J. CLINTON
2006 Liberty Medal Recipients
In January 2005, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton joined together in an unprecedented public awareness campaign to encourage Americans to support relief and recovery efforts to aid the victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia.
Nine months later, when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, President George W. Bush called upon the former presidents to repeat their successful partnership and lead the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund. The Fund was set up to provide grants from medium to long-term recovery needs in the areas affected by the hurricane, and its goal is to make a distinct impact on the unmet needs of this region in the areas of financial self-sufficiency, economic opportunity, and quality of life. The Presidents donated the Liberty Medal prize money to these humanitarian efforts.
"Gathered as we are in the heart of this political season, let’s not forget that our nation, indeed any nation, benefits from a vigorous debate on the issues and the competition of ideas in the political marketplace. It doesn’t matter if it is Democrat versus Republican, liberal or conservative, or Coke versus Pepsi. Competition is a good thing—a needed thing—indeed the very thing on which our national progress is built."...more
President George H.W. Bush
"...all of us, all across the world, Republicans and Democrats, black and white, Africans, Asians, you name it, we’re all 99.9% the same genetically. Go figure...How can you live with the importance of the 1/10 of 1%, and not forget the 99.9%? That’s what the Founders knew. That’s what we all know when there’s a tsunami. That’s what we all know when there’s a Katrina. When that young man came up here—all the way from Aceh in Indonesia—and that young woman came up here, from all the things she has been through. This wonderful poet who suffered, came up here and read the poem—all of you thought about what you have in common with them, didn’t you?"...more
President William J. Clinton