WASHINGTON, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The following are remarks by President
Bush in presentation of Medal of Freedom to His Holiness Pope John Paul II:
12:58 P.M. (Local)
THE PRESIDENT: Your Holiness, thank you very much for receiving Laura and
me, and our delegation. I bring greetings from our country, where you are
respected, admired and greatly loved.
I also bring a message from my government that says to you, sir, we will
work for human liberty and human dignity, in order to spread peace and
compassion; that we appreciate the strong symbol of freedom that you have
stood for, and we recognize the power of freedom to change societies and to
change the world.
And so, sir, we're honored to be here. Perhaps the best way I can express
my country's gratitude to you, and our respect to you, is to present to you
the Medal of Freedom from America. And if you might allow, I'd like to read
the citation attached to that honor:
"A devoted servant of God, His Holiness Pope John Paul II has championed
the cause of the poor, the weak, the hungry, and the outcast. He has defended
the unique dignity of every life, and the goodness of all life. Through his
faith and moral conviction, he has given courage to others to be not afraid in
overcoming injustice and oppression. His principled stand for peace and
freedom has inspired millions and helped to topple communism and tyranny. The
United States honors this son of Poland who became the Bishop of Rome and a
hero of our time."
And so, on behalf of the American people, Your Holiness, I would be
honored if you would accept our Medal of Freedom.
(The Medal of Freedom is presented.) (Applause.)
HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II: I am very grateful, Mr. President, for
this thoughtful gesture. May the desire for freedom, peace, a more humane
world symbolized by this medal inspire men and women of goodwill in every time
God bless America. (Applause.)
END 1:00 P.M. (Local)
SOURCE White House Press Office