President Bush’s Second Inaugural Capped by Festivities
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KWAME HOLMAN: President Bush ended his inaugural celebration the way he began it, with a church service.
Washington’s National Cathedral was filled with 3,000 invited guests for the observance, led by 86-year-old Rev. Billy Graham, who offered a prayer for his friend’s second term.
REV. BILLY GRAHAM: Our Father, you have granted a second term of office to our president, George W. Bush, and our vice president, Richard Cheney. Their next four years are hidden from us, but they are not hidden from you.
You know the challenges and opportunities they will face. Give them a clear mind, a warm heart, calmness in the midst of turmoil, reassurance in times of discouragement and your presence always.
KWAME HOLMAN: The service included Catholic cardinals, a Greek Orthodox archbishop, Methodist ministers and a rabbi. A Muslim imam was scheduled but couldn’t attend because of illness.
CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST: Will you raise your right hand, Mr. President?
KWAME HOLMAN: After being sworn in at the Capitol yesterday and walking the last leg of his inaugural parade route, the president and Mrs. Bush attended ten inaugural balls.
SPOKESPERSON: The president of the United States and Mrs. Laura Bush, Barbara and Jenna Bush.
KWAME HOLMAN: The first stop for the first family was the Constitution Ball at the Washington Hilton.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: And now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask my wife, Laura, to join me in our first inaugural dance in the year 2005.
KWAME HOLMAN: After a brief whirl on the dance floor at the Patriot Ball at Washington’s Convention Center, the president presented his wife with two roses that had been tossed by well-wishers. At the Texas-Wyoming Ball, the first couple joined revelers dancing to a famous tune from the musical “My Fair Lady.”
But the Bushes didn’t dance all night. Despite a late start, they ended their evening an hour and a half earlier than expected, making their final appearance at the Commander-in-Chief Ball at the National Building Museum, where the president honored members of the military who were among the invited guests.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I meant what I said today when I said I believe we have a duty to free those who are captive, to end the world from tyranny, because I believe every soul longs to be free and I know that free societies will mean this world of ours will be more peaceful for our children and our grandchildren.
So I want to thank you for joining in this historic mission. I want to thank you for what you do. I want to thank you for securing the United States of America. I want to thank you for defending our great freedoms.
KWAME HOLMAN: Then the president and first lady each danced with a service member– Mr. Bush with an army specialist, Mrs. Bush with a Marine corporal. By shortly after 10 PM, the first couple was back in the White House.