It was a first-family reunion Friday at Texas A&M University as President Bush joined his father and mother for fall commencement exercises.
The President delivered a keynote address that gave graduates something to laugh about and think about.
After a brief introduction by President H.W. Bush, the President took the lectern at Reed Arena where he opened with the Aggie signature greeting, "Howdy." He then set a relaxed, humorous tone by congratulating the graduating classes of 2008, 2007 and 2006 before saying he had better stop there.
President Bush then quipped about the cost of college. "I am pleased to see so many of your families and loved ones here today," he said. "While you bled maroon, they bled a lot of green."
Even Texas A&M's collie mascot found her way into his speech. "I especially like the tradition around Reveille. Anytime she barks during a class lecture, everyone in the room is dismissed. I wish she'd been there for some of those press conferences."
Click here to view video of the president's speech in its entirety, along with raw video of the trip and News 3's coverage.
The President went on to congratulate the graduates and praise their reverence for traditions. "In playing Silver Taps to honor fallen classmates, the reunion of students and alumni to read the roll call of Muster, and in wearing of your timeless rings, you affirm a powerful truth: Once an Aggie, always an Aggie."
He also shared inspirational examples of the character of the American people. One was a 60-year old Nevada surgeon who joined the service after his son was killed in combat. "These acts of courage and service sustain our free society and make this the greatest nation on earth," Bush said. "Soon, he will deploy to Iraq where he'll help save the wounded, uphold the legacy of his fallen son and help inspire the United States of America."
Toward the end of his address, the President became emotional while urging graduates to find strong role models in life. "Some of you will leave A&M with a degree that carries this good man's name, 'George Bush.' I have been blessed and honored to have carried it for 62 years."
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