Obama Honors George H.W. Bush at White House Ceremony: ‘We are a Kinder and Gentler Nation Because of You’

Posted: Jul 15, 2013 4:05 PM

Former President George H.W. Bush received a warm welcome from President Obama on Monday during a ceremony to present the 5,000th Daily Point of Light award. During his presidency, Bush helped to create the award’s organization, Points of Light, as part of his effort to encourage volunteer service. Via CBS:

When announcing the first awardon November 22, 1989, Mr. Bush explained the Daily Point of Light Awards don't honor "the best" but are given to those who represent of "the best in all of us." The staff of the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper was the first honoree.

"We will single out a few, because they represent the many," Mr. Bush said then. "And we hope that by highlighting their achievements, and the ways they've found to serve, we can inspire others to serve."

Obama praised the former president for his commitment to service and the impact it has had on our nation.

 “Our country is a better and stronger force for good in the world because more and more, we are people that serve,” Obama said. “And for that we have to thank President Bush and his better half, Barbara, who is just as committed as her husband to service and has dedicated her life to it as well.”

“We are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you and we can’t thank you enough,” Obama added.

And although the 41st president is still in a wheelchair since being hospitalized with bronchitis late last year, he’s definitely in good spirits. Keeping with his reputation for funky footwear, Bush rocked a pair of red and white striped “crazy” socks, and even gave Obama a pair of hot pink socks before the ceremony, according to CBS News.

The recipients of the award, Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton, founded the nonprofit Outreach, which “provides safe water, food, medical care and education to children and those in need at home and abroad,” according to the organization’s website. 

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