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Bush Speaks of His Prayers for Americans, All People

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2003 – This is "a testing time" for the United States, and at times like this, prayer is more appropriate than ever, President Bush said at the National Prayer Breakfast here this morning.

"At this hour we have troops that are assembling in the Middle East, there's oppressive regimes that seek terrible weapons, (and) we face an ongoing threat of terror," Bush said. "One thing is for certain: We didn't ask for these challenges, but we will meet them. I say that with certainty because this nation has strong foundations that won't be shaken."

The president said that when he greets the public, the comment he hears most from people is that they are praying for him. "I turn to them without hesitation and say, 'That is the greatest gift you can give anybody, to pray on their behalf,'" Bush said.

He spoke of mourning the loss of "seven brave souls" aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia Feb. 1 and spoke of how impressed he is with the resolve of the astronauts' families. "Our country prays for their strength," the president said. "And we must continue to pray for those who suffer and those who grieve."

Bush told the assemblage that Americans can be confident in their country's cause in the world. "We don't own the ideals of freedom and human dignity, and sometimes we haven't always lived up to them," he said. "But we do stand for those ideals, and we will defend them."

Before leaving the podium, the president prayed for "the men and women who serve around the world to defend our freedom," for their families, and for "wisdom to know and do what is right."

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Remarks by the President at the National Prayer Breakfast


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