Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-546-0054
Hickam Air Force Base
7:45 A.M. HST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Admiral, thanks for the introduction. Thanks for the warm breakfast, and thanks for the good view. I appreciate the tight ship you run here. And I thank you all very much for serving our country.
Laura and I are honored to be with you. We're honored to say thanks on behalf of a grateful nation. And I'm pleased to tell you that the work you're doing will lead to peace for generations to come.
You serve at a time when we witness an ideological struggle between those who love freedom and those who hate freedom. And the outcome of this struggle will determine how your children and grandchildren live. And I'm determined, like you are determined, that freedom prevails.
Today we saw again the vicious face of those who oppose freedom. We strongly condemn the assassination today in Lebanon of Pierre Gemayel, who was a minister in the government of Prime Minister Seniora. We support the Seniora government and its democracy, and we support the Lebanese people's desire to live in peace. And we support their efforts to defend their democracy against attempts by
I call for a full investigation of the murder to identify those people and those forces behind the killing. We call on the international community to support Prime Minister Seniora's government. And one clear way to do so is for the United Nations Security Council to take all remaining steps needed to establish a special tribunal concerning the assassination of former Prime Minister Hariri, and to assure that those behind that killing and others that followed are brought to justice. I strongly believe the United Nations Security Council ought to act today. For the sake of peace, the free world must reject those who undermine young democracies and murder in the name of their hateful ideology.
I want to thank our Secretary of State for joining us. You know, one of the jobs of the President is to surround himself with smart, capable, strong people -- and I have done so in Condoleezza Rice. (Applause.)
I also did so at the altar. (Laughter.) And I'm pleased Laura is here, as well. (Applause.) We're on our way back home after a trip in
I told them that the
You serve freedom's cause in a lot of ways. When you help deliver humanitarian relief to victims of natural disasters, you serve freedom's cause. When you fight terrorists wherever we find them, you serve freedom's cause. Every branch of our military is playing a vital role. The Army and Marine Corps have deployed thousands of soldiers and Marines to
Earlier this year, the Pacific fleet conducted one of the largest multinational maritime exercises in the world, involving eight nations, 35 ships, 180 aircraft, and 19,000 personnel. You serve freedom's cause when you help others be able to defend themselves. You serve freedom's cause when you help young democracies fight off the extremists who try to impose their hateful vision of the world. What happens in Asia Pacific matters to
The Air Force has brought humanitarian aid to victims in earthquakes and typhoons. You provided airlift support to places like
Some of the troops from this command who were deployed to combat operations in
The men and women who wear the uniform are the best that
I want to thank you for your sacrifice. I particularly thank your families for joining you in this noble cause. We'll succeed, and when we do, generations of Americans will look back on this period and say, thank God the
God bless. (Applause.)
END 7:51 A.M. HST