Friday, March 24, 2006

Spirit of America Honored by President Bush

This is from an e-mail I received today. Thought you might like to get a look at the president and his office.

Spirit of America was honored at a special reception in the Roosevelt Room at the White House last Tuesday, March 21st. President Bush and the First Lady thanked Spirit of America and our supporters for our contributions to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Several other nonprofits doing great work in Iraq and Afghanistan were also recognized. Spirit of America was represented by Peggy Findley who runs operations in our Los Angeles office.

During the hour-long session, the President recalled a very emotional meeting he had in the Oval Office with seven Iraqi men who, under Saddam's regime, had been punished by having their right hands amputated and black tattoos of crosses carved into their foreheads. They received prostheses and rehabilitation through the generosity of the American people, including Spirit of America supporters who donated to our project Iraqi Amputees Offered Restoration of Life and Limb. This project was specifically set up to help these Iraqi men with their transportation costs and recovery One year later, Iraqi Amputees adjusting well to new hands.

The President's StatementFollowing are the President's remarks released from the meeting.

We're talking today to people who have decided to try to help improve the lives of folks in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I just marvel at the fact that Americans from around our country have heard a call to help somebody realize the benefits of freedom. You know, governments can help, and we will help. And obviously, we've got a brave military trying to secure freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq. But one of the real powerful parts of developing civil societies in these two countries is the fact that fellow citizens are willing to interface with citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We've heard stories about Afghan women education programs and Iraqi Fulbright programs and programs to help hospitals and programs to welcome intellectuals -- all aimed at helping these societies that were once brutalized by tyrants realize the great benefits and blessings of liberty. We've got -- I'm sure a lot of our citizens don't realize this, but there are thousands of, we call them social entrepreneurs, who are figuring out ways to help improve the human condition in these two liberated countries.

And I want to thank you all very much. It's heartening to hear your stories and it makes me -- once again gives me great reason to be proud of our country and the people who live here. So thank you all for coming. God bless your work."
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