Former President George Bush honored Reverend Billy Graham Monday evening for his excellence in public service. Graham is the recipient of the 2006 George Bush Award, given to an individual or group dedicated to serving others.
Former President George Bush opened the ceremony, followed by a video documenting Reverend Graham's life and accomplishments.
Joining President Bush, remarking about Graham, were Houston Texans quarterback David Carr, AOL co-founder Stephen Case, Christian performance artist Michael W. Smith, and Former First Lady Barbara Bush.
President Bush's remarks were full of emotion for his friend.
"You could say Billy has been the conscience of our nation and sometimes the world," President George Bush said. "He's taught us the meaning of faith, the importance of prayer and what it means to live a life of service."
Reverend Graham humbly thanked President Bush for the honor.
"Thank you for your gracious words you have spoken, Mr. President, " Graham said. "And for your generosity and for bestowing on me this great honor that I do not deserve."
Reverend Graham joins former recipients including German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Senator Edward Kennedy and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
It is said Reverend Graham has preached the Gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history. Monday night he added his speech at Texas A&M to the list.
The program was hosted by the George Bush Presidential Library. Recipients of the award receive a custom crystal sculpture as well as a monetary prize.