And after our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001, a day that changed me forever, we took the fight to the terrorists around the world. We removed threatening regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and liberated 50 million people from the clutches of terrorism.
We worked to extend freedom and human liberty as the alternatives to tyranny and terror. No matter whether or not you agree with my decisions or not, one thing you have to agree with is that we have not been attacked in the last seven years.
This is a tribute to all who toil day and night to keep us safe, especially the men and women who wear our nation's uniform.
I can't tell you how great it has been to stand before our troops an meet their families, or to go to Walter Reed and have a soldier look you in the face and say "Mr. President, I would do it all over again. Let me get healed so I can go back and defend the United States of America."
There is nothing I will miss more than being the commander in chief of such an unbelievable group of men and women.
--George W. Bush 20 January 2009 Midland Texas
I'm not the only one who wanted to say thank you. This is a description of his send off at Andrews by my fellow airmen. You can read the full story here.
The crowd roared as the former president and vice president made their dramatic entrance into the hangar. The rousing sounds of the "Air Force One" movie theme rung out as the huge hangar slowly opened, revealing the huge blue-and-white presidential aircraft glistening in the sunlight.