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pd24my04 Remarks at the Peace Officers Memorial Service...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i]
Monday, May 24, 2004


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly 
Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
other Presidential materials released by the White House during the 
preceding week.

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Weekly Compilation of



[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-vii]
Pages 903	940

[[Page ii]]



Addresses and Remarks

    See also Meetings With Foreign Leaders
    American Israel Public Affairs Committee--914
    Cabinet meeting--920
    Kansas, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in 
    Louisiana, commencement address at Louisiana State University in 
        Baton Rouge--935
    NCAA winter champion teams--922
    Peace officers memorial service--909
    Radio address--908
    Sons of Italy Foundation gala--925
    Wisconsin, commencement address at Concordia University Wisconsin in 

Communications to Congress

    Burma, message on continuation of national emergency--913
    Iraq, continuation of national emergency protecting the Development 
        Fund for Iraq and certain other property, message--934
    U.S. Arctic Research Plan, message transmitting revision--934

Communications to Congress--Continued

    U.S. trade and investment policy for Sub-Saharan Africa and 
        implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, 
        message transmitting report--935

Executive Orders

    Establishment of Great Lakes Interagency Task Force and Promotion of 
        a Regional Collaboration of National Significance for the Great 
    Further Amendment to Executive Order 11023, Providing for the 
        Performance by the Secretary of Commerce of Certain Functions 
        Relating to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchange with reporters in the Cabinet Room--920
    Interview with Al Zaman--927

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Greece, Prime Minister Karamanlis--931
    Italy, Prime Minister Berlusconi--924, 925
(Continued on the inside of the back cover.)

  Editor's Note: The President was at the Bush Ranch in Crawford, TX, on 
May 21, the closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements 
issued by the Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for 
inclusion in this issue will be printed next week.

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    Continuation of the National Emergency Protecting the Development 
        Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has an 
    Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Burma--913


    National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation 
    National Hurricane Preparedness Week--906
    Small Business Week--907
    World Trade Week--908

Statements by the President

    Cuba, anniversary of the birth of the Republic--931

Statements by the President--Continued

    Death of Iraqi Governing Council President Izz al-Din al-Salim--913
    House of Representatives passage of budget legislation--931
    Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, establishment--918
    Marriage, constitutional amendment defining and protecting--912
    Senate passage of legislation to implement Project BioShield--924

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--940
    Checklist of White House press releases--940
    Digest of other White House announcements--937
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--939

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 903-905]
Pages 903	940
Week Ending Friday, May 21, 2004
Commencement Address at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, 

May 14, 2004

    Thank you all very much. Dr. Ferry, members of the faculty, 
trustees, and families, distinguished guests, most importantly, members 
of the Class of 2004, I appreciate the warm welcome to this fine 
university and to this great State. Thank you for such a wonderful 
welcome. I am honored to be with you on graduation day as you become 
proud alumni of CUW.
    I thank you as well for the honorary degree. I kind of like the 
sound, ``Dr. Bush.'' [Laughter] I don't think Laura is going to call me 
that. [Laughter]
    My congratulations to my fellow honorees today, especially General 
Vessey, a fine officer who served our country with distinction and 
    I'm here today with one of your alumni, Class of 2000. He can't rise 
for applause because he's working. But I want his parents to know he's 
doing a really fine job. And everyone at Concordia can be very proud of 
Officer Scott Eichstaedt of the United States Secret Service.
    I am told that when the name of your commencement speaker was 
announced on April the 1st--[laughter]--a lot of students thought it 
might be an April Fool's Day joke. [Laughter] And some of you may still 
have doubts. I saw a person when I walked in, said, ``Is it him, or is 
it the guy on `Saturday Night Live'?'' [Laughter]
    All of you have worked hard and have come far, and you can always be 
proud of the achievement we mark today. Through it all, you've had a lot 
of fine people standing with you. This graduating class is a credit to 
the superb and caring teachers at Concordia. And today we also honor the 
people who believed in you and prayed for you and paid for you--
[laughter]--the parents of the Class of 2004.
    Many of today's graduates are on your way to full-time ministry, and 
that commitment is one of the greatest that a man or woman can make. All 
of the graduates leave Concordia with a commission and a calling. In the 
Lutheran tradition, all work in an office, on a farm, in the home, or in 
the halls of government, should be done in the glory of God. And that is 
accomplished by doing our work with excellence and care and an awareness 
of the needs around us.
    We find our examples in great lives. Important work in this world 
can be done by towering figures like Martin Luther, who changed history 
and your own lives with an act of conscience. Work of lasting value can 
also be done by a solitary soul, condemned and stripped of all power, 
like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Every life holds the possibility of serving 
God. And in every great life, that possibility is realized in service. 
After all, Bonhoeffer said, ``The Church is the Church only when it 
exists for others.''
    This teaching of faith is confirmed in our daily experience. Many of 
us find that there is much more to life than getting and keeping. True 
fulfillment comes with the responsibilities we assume, to care for our 
families and to love a neighbor as we want to be loved ourselves. This 
is more than a familiar saying; it is the foundation of a meaningful 
    A person shows his or her character in kindness and charity, and 
what is true in our lives is also true in the life of our Nation. You 
can fairly judge the character of society by how it treats the weak, the 
vulnerable, the most easily forgotten. Our own country, at its best, 
strives to be compassionate, and this isn't easy. Compassion is not 
merely a vague feeling of empathy; it is a demanding virtue. It involves 
action and effort and deep conviction, a conviction as old as Scripture 
and present at the founding of our country. We believe that everyone has 
a place and

[[Page 904]]

a purpose in this world, that every life matters, that no insignificant 
person was ever born.
    America rejects the ethic of sink or swim. America rejects social 
Darwinism, because strength is not the same as worth. Our greatest 
failures as a nation have come when we lost sight of our compassionate 
ideals in slavery, in segregation, and in every wrong that has denied 
the value and dignity of life. Our greatest strength as a nation is that 
we bravely face our flaws and do our best to make things right. Our 
greatest successes as a nation have come when we broadened the circle of 
protection and inclusion, and this work is not finished. We will press 
on until every person shares in the promise of our country.
    The mission statement of this university directs each of you towards 
a life of service to the church and to the world. It's not my place to 
tell you how best to serve the church, but I do have a few thoughts 
about how you can make your mark in the world. Wherever you are headed, 
I urge you to do the work nearest you and help to build a more 
compassionate society.
    First, America needs your efforts and energy in the fight against 
poverty and despair. A compassionate society does not look away from a 
man being dragged down by addiction or a mother being abandoned by the 
father of the child or boys and girls with no role models in life who 
wonder if anyone cares about them. These personal tragedies are often 
failures of love, and they must be answered with love and caring and 
kindness. Government can play many important roles, but it cannot take 
someone's hand and be their friend. You have that power. If you follow 
this calling, you can help transform our society, one heart, one soul at 
a time.
    This call is heard and followed here in the Milwaukee area at 
Lutheran Counseling and Family Services. It was founded over 100 years 
ago to help children in need. Today, it offers services and counseling 
that help teens and preteens escape drug and alcohol abuse. When 
children hurt this deeply and this early, they often need an entirely 
new path, a new way. The CEO of the program, Dr. Chuck Meseck, says 
this: ``The clinical work is important, but in helping a person, faith 
is what really heals them completely.''
    Around our country, there are so many people with loving hearts who 
despair at the suffering they see around them. And so I made a decision: 
Instead of ignoring or resenting religious charities and faith-based 
groups, this country will encourage these good works in every way we 
can. The Federal Government now allows faith-based groups to compete for 
billions of dollars in social service funding without being forced to 
change their identity and their mission. We must support the best, the 
most effective sources of compassion and hope, and we will not 
discriminate against people of faith.
    Second, America needs your good heart in meeting a basic 
responsibility, to protect and honor life in all its seasons. A 
compassionate society shows a special concern for those at the beginning 
of life, those at the end of life, and those who struggle in life with 
disabilities. Most of you, at some point, will be called to care for a 
dying relative or a frail and aging parent or someone close to you with 
a terrible sickness. Often, in their pain and loneliness, they will feel 

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