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老布什坐轮椅白宫颁奖 脚穿红白条纹袜

A-A+发布时间:2013年07月17日 15:30来源:中国日报网

老布什坐轮椅白宫颁奖 脚穿红白条纹袜

They are of different generations and from different Americas, their political lives separated by philosophy and circumstance. But Monday at the White House, President Obama and former president George H.W. Bush and their families united under the banner of volunteerism.

At an afternoon ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Obama and Bush honored a retired couple from an Iowa farming town who have helped deliver free meals to hungry children around the world.

The couple received the 5,000th Points of Light award. The awards were established by Bush in 1989 to celebrate the power of individuals to spark change and improve the world. In his remarks, Obama paid a special and personal tribute to Bush — his oldest living predecessor — and said he and other presidents have striven to follow Bush’s lead in encouraging national service.

“Mr. President, I’m one of millions of people who’ve been inspired by your passion and commitment,” Obama said. He added, “You’re such a gentleman, such a good and kind person, and we are surely a kinder and gentler nation because of you.”

Bush, who at 89 has been battling health problems, appeared frail but in good spirits as he was pushed onstage in a wheelchair by a Marine. Returning to the White House, he said, was “like coming home for Barbara and me.”

Obama spoke warmly about Bush’s longevity, noting that he jumped out of an airplane on his 85th birthday. “After he left the White House, he kept going and going and going,” the 44th president said of the 41st. “In between skydiving and other activities, he kept going. . . . This is somebody who’s not going to slow down anytime soon.”

Bush and Obama honored Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton of Union, Iowa, who a decade ago were set to retire until they took a trip to Tanzania and saw children dying of malnutrition. They founded a nonprofit group, Outreach, that delivers food to the world’s hungry.

The award’s name, like the Points of Light charitable foundation begun during Bush’s presidency, is a reference to Bush’s 1989 inaugural address, in which he likened the nation’s community groups to “a thousand points of light.”

Neil Bush, chairman of the Points of Light foundation, choked up as he spoke about his father’s legacy of volunteerism.

“He may not be parachuting anymore, but he’s taken on a new hobby — he’s trying to be a style setter. ‘GQ man,’ we’re calling him, instead of ‘41,’ ” Bush said of his father, who sported red-and-white striped socks.

Obama has been a proponent of volunteerism as well, launching a National Day of Service connected to both of his inaugurations. On Monday, he announced a federal task force to identify ways that the government and the private sector can work together on national service projects.

First ladies Michelle Obama and Barbara Bush were present for the ceremony. Beforehand, the two families shared a private lunch in the Red Room, a grand parlor on the first floor of the White House.

Monday’s events mark a continued thawing of relations between Obama and the Bushes.

In 2011, Obama warmly welcomed the Bush family to the White House as he awarded the Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — to the elder Bush, patriarch of a political dynasty. Obama and George W. Bush also met last month in Tanzania, where Obama praised his predecessor’s AIDS relief program.

Then last week, the younger Bush delivered a rare public address on policy matters and called on fellow Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform, which is the centerpiece of Obama’s second-term domestic agenda.

他们属于不同的时代,他们来自美国不同的族群,人生观和社会环境的差异导致他们的政治生涯不尽相同。然而当地时间7月15日,美国现任总统奥巴马、前总统老布什以及他们的家人却因共同的志愿服务精神在白宫聚首。

据美国媒体报道,15日下午,奥巴马和老布什在白宫东厅颁发第五千座“每日光点奖”,表彰一对来自艾奥瓦州的退休夫妇在公共服务领域和志愿者工作中取得的杰出成绩。获奖者弗洛伊德•哈默尔和凯西•汉密尔顿来自艾奥瓦州犹尼昂镇。十年前,一次前往坦桑尼亚的旅行改变了这对夫妇的生活。在那里,他们亲眼看到了儿童因营养不良而死去。于是,这对原本打算退休后享受生活的夫妇成立了一个名为“延伸”的非营利性组织,向世界各地的饥饿儿童提供免费的食物。

据悉,“每日光点奖”由老布什于1989年设立,以表彰改变、推动世界发展的杰出个人。该奖项与老布什担任美国总统期间成立的“每日一点灯光”慈善基金会一样,均取名于老布什1989年发表的就职演说。当时,老布什在演说中把美国的社区组织比喻成“千万点光芒”。

颁奖典礼上,奥巴马发表了简短的讲话,他借此机会向老布什致敬。“总统先生,您的热情和承诺鼓舞了数百万人民,我就是其中一员。您是一位真正的绅士、一个心地善良的好人,因为有你,美国成为了一个更加友善、更加温和的国家。”奥巴马称,他和其他几位美国总统都努力追随老布什的脚步、鼓励国家服务事业的发展。

89岁高龄的老布什近年来一直与病魔抗争。15日出席颁奖仪式时,老布什坐在轮椅上,由一名海军陆战队士兵将其推上舞台。老布什看上去身体有些虚弱但精神抖擞,他还说重返白宫“感觉就像回到了我和芭芭拉(老布什妻子)的家”。

奥巴马对老布什的长寿感到高兴,他还提到老布什以高空跳伞来庆祝85岁生日的壮举。“老布什离开白宫后,他一直在努力前进。借由跳伞和其他活动,他在前行……这是一个永远不会放慢脚步的人。”作为美国第44任总统,奥巴马对他的前辈美国第41任总统老布什予以高度评价。

尼尔•布什现为“每日光点奖”慈善基金会的主席,当他谈到父亲老布什留下的宝贵遗产“志愿服务精神”时,情绪有些激动。随后,尼尔调侃起老布什脚上的红白条纹运动长袜,“他可能不会再尝试高空跳伞了,不过他培养了一个新爱好——当一名型男。现在,我们不再称呼他为第41任总统了,而是‘GQ型男’。”

与老布什类似,奥巴马也在积极推动美国志愿服务事业的发展,两次就职典礼期间,他都带头参加了“全国服务日”的义工活动。15日,奥巴马宣布设立联邦专责小组,负责探索政府与私人机构如何在国家服务项目中展开通力协作的方法。

颁奖仪式当天,奥巴马的妻子米歇尔和老布什的太太芭芭拉也出席了。此前,两家人在白宫共进私人午餐。

分析人士认为,15日的活动标志奥巴马与布什家族的关系持续缓和。2011年,奥巴马在白宫向包括老布什在内的15人颁发2010年度的总统自由勋章,当时他盛情邀请老布什一家亲临白宫。上月,奥巴马与小布什在坦桑尼亚会面,他高度评价了小布什开展的防治艾滋病项目。而在上周,小布什罕见地就公共事务发表公开讲话,呼吁共和党人支持奥巴马推进的移民(微博)改革方案。

本文来源:中国日报网

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