June 15, 2002 - Wichita Eagle: Bush urges grads to volunteer

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Special Reports: President Bush's Vision for the Peace Corps [2/15/02]: June 15, 2002 - Wichita Eagle: Bush urges grads to volunteer

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, June 16, 2002 - 11:46 am: Edit Post

Bush urges grads to volunteer

Read and comment on this story from the Wichita Eagle on President Bush's commencement address where he urged recent graduates to volunteer at:

Bush urges grads to volunteer*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Bush urges grads to volunteer


Knight Ridder Newspapers

COLUMBUS, Ohio - President Bush on Friday challenged America's new college graduates to foster a "culture of service" by becoming lifelong volunteers.

"Service to America is not a matter of coercion. It is a matter of conscience," he told the 5,500-member class of 2002 at Ohio State University. "So today I am making an appeal to your conscience, for the sake of your country.

One reason Bush chose to speak at Ohio State is that the school has an unusually high rate of volunteerism, with nearly 70 percent of the graduating seniors having performed public service.

"Your idealism is needed in America," the president said, and added that too many citizens are still relegated to "the shadow of our nation's prosperity."

"America needs more than taxpayers, spectators and occasional voters. America needs full-time citizens. America needs men and women who respond to the call of duty, who stand up for the weak, who speak up for their beliefs, who sacrifice for a greater good."

Bush delivered the remarks to an audience of some 60,000 in Ohio State's football stadium, but his message was aimed at an entire generation of young Americans. It is a theme Bush hopes to make one of the hallmarks of his presidency.

Bush, who promised during his campaign to usher in "the responsibility era," has called on Americans to devote at least two years -- or about 4,000 working hours -- to public service over the course of their lifetimes. He also has set a goal of doubling the Peace Corps and increasing the size of its domestic equivalent, AmeriCorps, by 50 percent.

Bush's plans to promote volunteerism track similar efforts in Congress, where Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Evan Bayh, D-Ind., have introduced legislation that would add 200,000 AmeriCorps volunteers -- a fivefold increase.

The issue strikes a personal chord with Bush, a baby boomer who, like many of his generation, behaved recklessly for a time before settling down.

Earlier this month, in another commencement speech at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., Bush said President Ulysses S. Grant left the academy with a stack of demerits for bad behavior.

"During my college years, I guess you could say I was a Grant man," he said.

At Ohio State, the president alluded to the religious underpinnings of his call to service.

"We are commanded by God and called by our conscience to love others as we want to be loved ourselves," he told the graduates.

Bush also urged his young audience to build on the spirit of national unity that followed the Sept 11 attacks.

"Some believe this lesson in service is fading as distance grows from the shock of September the 11th," he said. "Your generation will respond to these skeptics one way or another. You will determine whether our new ethic of responsibility is the break of a wave, or the rise of a tide."

Click on a link below for more stories on PCOL

Attend the COS Flag Procession in DC on June 23Alleged Larium link to Suicide
Why the Peace Corps needs a Fourth GoalRPCVs start the Peace Corps Fund
Draft Peace Corps Legislation available for commentInterview with Sam Farr on new Peace Corps legislation
The Case for Peace Corps IndependenceDirector Vasquez meets with RPCVs
The Peace Corps and Homeland SecurityPeace Corps Expansion:  The Numbers Game?
RPCV Congressmen support Peace Corps' autonomyThe NPCA's New Mandate
When should the Peace Corps return to Afghanistan?Bush and JFK
RPCV Character on new Fox SitcomPeace Corps Cartoons

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Special Reports



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.