President Bush on Independence Day celebrated the birth, freedom and liberty of the U.S., and said insurgents and terrorists will not stop democracy from blooming in Iraq and around the world.
"They continue to kill in hope they will break the resolve of the American people but they will fail," Bush said.
Speaking before thousands at the West Virginia University campus in Morgantown, W. Va., Bush urged Americans to support the U.S. troops who are defending this nation’s freedom.
“You can fly the flag, or send a letter to the troops in the field, or help a military family down the street,” said Bush. “At this time, when we celebrate our freedom, our troops have got to understand that the American people support them all the way.”
He reminded the audience of the core ideals this nation was built upon.
“On Independence Day, we remember the ideals of liberty that led men from 13 colonies to gather in Philadelphia and pen a declaration of self-truths. And we remember the band of patriots who risked their lives to bring freedom to a new continent,” he said.
“[Our forefathers] kept their faith in a future of liberty, and with their hard-won victory, we guaranteed a home for the Declaration's proposition that all are created equal,” Bush said amid loud applause.
Bush’s brief visit to West Virginia – according to his schedule it was 90 minutes from touchdown to takeoff from Morgantown – was his third Independence Day address in the Mountain State. Last year, Bush spoke at the state Capitol Complex in Charleston on Independence Day. In 2002 he spoke before a crowd of 8,000 in Ripley.
According to the Associated Press, several thousand students, veterans, civil leaders and members of the military packed the campus for the ticket only event, and demonstrators were kept some distance away so they could barely be heard.
Meanwhile, in a radio address made available on the White House website, the President called the Fourth of July a “day to be proud of our heritage as freedom's home and defender.”
“Above all,” said Bush, “it is a day to give thanks to God for His many blessings on America, and for the privilege to call ourselves citizens of this special land.”
To view the full text of Bush's address, visit: