We offer a tribute to a man of character, President George Herbert Walker Bush. President Bush served as the Honorary President of the National Thanksgiving Commission and worked with local leaders to promote the spirit of thanksgiving. During his visit to Thanks-Giving Square to dedicate the Wall of Presidents in 1991, Bush provided the following comments about the City of Dallas and Thanks-Giving Square.
Remarks at the Dedication Ceremony for Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, Texas
Thank you, Peter, and Secretary Mosbacher. We’re pleased you’re with us here today. I’m so delighted to see two old friends, among many others: Ambassador Anne Armstrong, and of course, our Mayor, Annette Strauss. Dr. Garcia, thank you. Your music was spectacular, and we appreciated it very, very much.
And where is the Explorer Post 111, over here? They did a first-class job. Thank you guys for being with us.
Here at this unique shrine of gratitude, I want to offer thanks. I want to pay grateful tribute to all those who envisioned and built Thanks-Giving Square. I would, of course, single out Peter Stewart, who has been with this from its very inception. His conviction and his dedication are well-known to everybody here and all across this great city.
This year in particular, as Annette mentioned, we give thanks for a century and a half of a community known as Dallas. Looking at John Bryan’s little log cabin, we can say honestly that Dallas arose from modest beginnings. But the truism, that truism misses a deeper truth. There was nothing modest at all about the dreams, the drive, the potential, and the achievement of Bryan and his community of pioneers.
With the scarcest of natural blessings, the builders of Dallas brought into being one of the world’s great cities. The Dallas community has never wavered in its determination for hard work and its devotion to the Almighty. The spirit of Dallas reminds me of the saintly motto, “Work as though everything depended upon yourself, and pray as though everything depended upon God.”
Dallas has a long tradition of clean, efficient government, selfless public service. And Dallas needs to draw upon this more fervently than ever at this time of historic transition in the leadership and the structure of its municipal government. A leader clearly in the Dallas public service tradition is our friend and our Mayor, Annette Strauss.
As you prepare to retire from public service and from the Mayor’s office, let me say that every Texan and every American who knows and loves this city must be grateful for all that you have given to this city.
And again, let me express appreciation, Peter, to you and to the others who have been at your side, creating Thanks-Giving Square.
This island of tranquility, like any place of prayer, meditation, and rest, is as vital to Dallas as the gleaming towers of commerce that surround us. Thanks-Giving Square — it reminds us that Dallas is great only because its leaders and builders understand that they serve a providence greater and more beneficent than they can ever dream of being.
And so, Barbara and I are just delighted to be with you here on this very special occasion. We thank you for your dedication. We praise you for your faith. And I can tell you this: Every single day I’m in this job, I recognize the importance of giving thanks. Thank you very much.
Note: The President spoke at 4:40 p.m. at Thanks-Giving Square. In his remarks, the President referred to Peter Stewart, chairman of the National Thanksgiving Commission; Anne Armstrong, president of the National Thanksgiving Commission; and Yolanda Garcia, entertainer. These remarks were not received in time for publication in the appropriate issue.
President George H.W. Bush speaks about the National Thanksgiving Commission and Thanks-Giving Square. Link: https://vimeo.com/192027813