Coverage of the development and dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU campus.

Bush Ends Library Dedication with Emotional Speech

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    President George W. Bush gave an emotional speech at the dedication of his presidential library at SMU. (Published Friday, April 26, 2013)

    The dedication ceremony of George W. Bush's presidential center has ended after the nation's 43rd president gave a closing speech with tears welling in his eyes.

    A crowd of 10,000 watched as a military guard carried a line of flags off the stage, followed by the departure of all five presidents and their wives Thursday in Dallas.

    Elder Bush Speaks at Bush Library Dedication

    [DFW] George H.W. Bush Speaks at Bush Library Dedication
    Former President George H.W. Bush enjoys a day with his son, former President George W. Bush during the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, Thursday, April 25, 2013, in Dallas. (Published Thursday, April 25, 2013)

    The ceremony was also attended by former members of the Bush administration, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, current and former world leaders including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the children of former presidents.

    Bush gave the last speech, noting his joy that his father, the 41st president, was able to attend the dedication.

    He said, "41, it is awesome that you are here today."

    Bush Jovial at Library Dedication

    Laura Bush at Bush Library

    [DFW] Laura Bush at Bush Library
    Laura Bush at Bush Library (Published Thursday, April 25, 2013)

    Bush jokeed there was a time in his life that he "wasn't likely to be found in a library, much less found one."

    He delivered several jokes Thursday during his speech at the dedication ceremony for his library and museum at the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas.

    Bush said America must work to "expand the reach of freedom." Tears welled in his eyes as he concluded, saying the nation's best days are ahead.

    He joined President Barack Obama and the three other living presidents -- including his father, George H.W. Bush -- at the ceremony.

    Before Bush's speech, the U.S. Army Chorus played "Battle Hymn of the Republic." During the music, Obama was seen with his arm around former first lady Barbara Bush as they chatted. 
    Bush Talked About Becoming a Grandfather

    Bush spoke with pride about becoming a grandpa and his delight at getting acquainted with his newborn granddaughter.

    New mom Jenna Bush Hager was smiling as tears ran down her face Thursday during the Dallas dedication ceremony for her father's presidential center. She was seated in the audience with her husband, Henry Hager, as Bush described spending time with his first grandchild.

    Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager was born April 13 in New York City. New mom Jenna Bush Hager is a contributing correspondent for NBC's "Today" show.

    The former president said the baby was named for both grandmothers. 

    George W. Bush Presidential Center
    Complete coverage of the development and dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus of Southern Methodist University. All living American presidents are expected to attend the event. Click here for more.