On October 27, 2020, a statue of President Bush was unveiled in Budapest. The statue, commissioned by the government of Hungary, commemorates the 30th Anniversary of the end of communist rule and the re-establishment of democracy in Eastern and Central Europe. A celebration of the unveiling took place in Budapest’s Liberty Square. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle, and Governor Jeb Bush sent greetings to the ceremony and the Texas A&M Marching Band taped a virtual performance which was played as the statue was unveiled.
From fighting in World War II to serving as Ambassador to China, as Vice President and later as President of the United States, he was committed to improving the lives of people around the world. Those here today who knew him can tell you just how deeply he cherished the freedoms we hold dear, and how well he understood the ennobling power of democracy. Being free is worth every sacrifice, he knew, and it comes with a duty to lift up others who also yearn for their own place at the altar of freedom. A modest man with extraordinary vision and compassion, President Bush helped the people of Central and Eastern Europe to free themselves from communist rule.
Remarks at the Commemoration of the Placement of the Statue of George H.W. Bush
“George Bush was a great blessing.” This is a worthy summary of what his presidency meant to the world, to Europe and to our country. A fitting statement, made, moreover, by a German: Chancellor Helmut Kohl. And he was not alone in this opinion: he spoke from our hearts, and in the Europe of that time many of us felt the same way… “Freedom, happiness and a long life.” This is what Mr. Bush said when, during his visit in 1989, a little girl asked him what three things he wished for Hungarian children. Freedom, happiness and a long life. So be it.
Remarks as the statue of President George H.W. Bush is unveiled in Budapest
It was a historic moment when President George H.W. Bush addressed the people gathered to greet him in Kossuth tér, Budapest, in 1989. And it was a heartwarming moment at the same time as he tore up his written speech saying: “You’ve been out here for too long. Let me just speak to you from the heart. And I’ll be brief.” Whether you were there and can relive that moment through this video now, or see it for the first time, we hope you will enjoy it!
“I didn’t realize the historical significance of the visit at the time… but I do now.”