Presidential Radio Address - 26 March 2005
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This weekend, millions of Americans celebrate the joyous holiday of Easter. Easter is the most important event of the Christian faith, when people around the world join together with family and friends to celebrate the power of love conquering death.
At Easter time we pray for all who serve in our military. The outstanding members of our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are keeping America secure and advancing liberty in the world. We remember especially those who have given their lives in freedom's cause. Their sacrifice is a testament to the words of scripture: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Easter has a special meaning for the families of our men and women in uniform who miss their loved ones during the holidays. It can be very difficult when someone you love is deployed on a dangerous mission in a distant land. I appreciate the sacrifices our military families are making, and Americans know that their contributions are vital to our success in the war on terror.
This week we have seen tragedy at home. Families in Minnesota are mourning the loss of their loved ones after the terrible shootings at Red Lake High School. Hours after the shooting, communities and churches across the nation offered prayers for the victims and their families. The Red Lake Nation reports receiving thousands of calls from people all over the world offering their sympathy and support. Laura and I are praying for the families of the victims, as are millions of Americans.
This week I spoke with Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd Jourdain to express the condolences of the American people and to pledge the continued help of the federal government. We are doing everything we can to meet the needs of the community at this tragic time. The FBI and the Department of Justice are working to coordinate relief through the Federal Crime Victim Assistance Fund. We're working closely with state, local and tribal authorities to provide counseling, help with funeral arrangements and other assistance.
The tragedy at Red Lake was accompanied by acts of heroism and selflessness. A security guard named Derrick Brun saved the lives of countless students when he rose from his desk to confront the young gunman. Although he was unarmed, Derrick ignored the pleas of a colleague to run for his life. By engaging the assailant, he bought vital time for a fellow security guard to rush a group of students to safety. Derrick's bravery cost him his life, and all Americans honor him.
As we help the families in this community, we must do everything in our power to prevent tragedies like this from happening. Children benefit from a sense of community, and the support and involvement of caring adults. To keep our children safe and protected, we must continue to foster a culture that affirms life and provides love, and helps our young people build character.
On this Easter weekend, we honor all Americans who give of themselves, from those helping neighbors at home to those defending liberty overseas. Easter is the victory of light over darkness. In this season of renewal, we remember that hope leads us closer to truth, and that in the end, even death, itself, will be defeated. That is the promise of Easter morning.
Thank you for listening.