The Cross Hall, 4:02 P.M. EST
President George W. Bush gives remarks on the
death of Pope John Paul II with First Lady Mrs.
Laura Bush at the White House on Saturday April
2, 2005. (White House photo by Paul Morse)
THE PRESIDENT: Laura and I join people
across the Earth in mourning the passing of Pope John Paul
II. The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd, the world
has lost a champion of human freedom, and a good and faithful
servant of God has been called home.
Pope John Paul II left the throne of St. Peter in the same
way he ascended to it -- as a witness to the dignity of
human life. In his native Poland, that witness launched
a democratic revolution that swept Eastern Europe and changed
the course of history. Throughout the West, John Paul's
witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture
of life in which the strong protect the weak. And during
the Pope's final years, his witness was made even more powerful
by his daily courage in the face of illness and great suffering.
All Popes belong to the world, but Americans had special
reason to love the man from Krakow. In his visits to our
country, the Pope spoke of our "providential"
Constitution, the self-evident truths about human dignity
in our Declaration, and the "blessings of liberty"
that follow from them. It is these truths, he said, that
have led people all over the world to look to America with
hope and respect.
Pope John Paul II was, himself, an inspiration to millions
of Americans, and to so many more throughout the world.
We will always remember the humble, wise and fearless priest
who became one of history's great moral leaders. We're grateful
to God for sending such a man, a son of Poland, who became
the Bishop of Rome, and a hero for the ages.
END 4:04 P.M. EST
President Bush Orders Flags Flown
at Half Staff in Honor of Pope John Paul II
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of
As a mark of respect for His Holiness Pope John Paul II,
I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution
and laws of the United States of America, that the flag
of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the
White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at
all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval
vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia
and throughout the United States and its Territories and
possessions until sunset on the day of his interment. I
also direct that the flag shall be flown at half staff for
the same period at all United States embassies, legations,
consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including
all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second
day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand five,
and of the Independence of the United States of America
the two hundred and twenty ninth.
GEORGE W. BUSH