Remarks to Members of the American Legion's Boys Nation
Good afternoon, and welcome to the White House. My warmest greetings to the director of Boys Nation, Marty Justis; executive director, Mylio Kraja; David Barlow, who is -- I think I have it right, don't I? Yes, that's you. [Laughter] That's president pro tem -- and Joshua Griffin, the secretary of the senate. And, well, to a man I've always made it a point to recognize when Boys Nation visited the White House, that Boys Nation institution, Casey Cason [American Legion counselor]. Is Casey still playing reveille in the morning on his trombone? [Applause] He is? I don't know which is worse, having to get up early, or listening to Casey on that horn. [Laughter]
now, I know that each of you went through a long selection process to come to
Boys Nation. And I want to tell you that, just like your family, friends, and
communities, I'm mighty proud of you. Your vitality, intelligence, and promise
represent the very best in
who's been blessed with talent has the responsibility to put it to good use.
To those of you who go into business, do everything you can to help meet the needs of your fellow men. Use your intelligence to keep American business efficient, your imaginations to keep it innovative and expanding, and your hearts to keep it ethical and fair. To those who go into the arts, work hard to create beauty and joy. If you choose education, put your whole heart into the training of young minds. And if you go into government, put every ounce of your energy into the service for the people.
You're all interested in government to some extent, of course, or you wouldn't be here as a part of Boys Nation. And in thinking about what I might tell you regarding politics, I decided the most important message would be about the importance of ideals. Political life is taxing: long hours, a great many pressures, the need to be flexible in order to accomplish your goals. And one way to get a feel for it all will be to put yourself in the places right now of George Bush and his opponent in the coming months. And imagine all that travel, the speeches, the interviews that both those candidates will go through.
a candidate is in politics just for the power of excitement -- or excitement, I
should say -- he's bound to be disappointed. The power never lasts forever. And
as for excitement, well, there's a lot less of excitement in government than
there is in just plain work. But if someone enters politics in the name of
ideals and principles, then it's all worthwhile. Every campaign, every interview
takes on meaning as part of a larger plan, as part of a vision for
quote the novelist John Buchan: ``Public life is the crown of a career, and
politics is still the greatest and most honorable adventure.'' A wise man once
said: ``Life begins when you begin to serve.'' But whatever your
calling in life, just remember
It's just so great to see and have you here and to know what you all represent. And it makes somebody feel good who's kind of coming to the end of the job to see a lineup of the kind of people that will be taking over as these years go by. And I can assure you, I have a great faith from what I've seen in how our country is going to do in the years to come.
So, God bless you. Thank all of you. God bless you all.
who that is? [Laughter] You see,
Reporter. Mr. President, are you going to talk to
The President. If they're willing and ready to talk, it's time.
Note: The President spoke at in the Rose Garden at the While House.