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Bush Visits Pearl Harbor Memorial on Way Back from Asia Tour - 2003-10-23

President Bush is in Hawaii where he visited Pearl Harbor to pay tribute to the men and women who died in the largest attack on American soil before September 11, 2001.

The president and Mrs. Bush toured the site of the World War II attack in a small boat, passing parts of the sunken battleship USS Arizona that are still visible above the water.

Mr. Bush dropped flowers into the harbor to remember the more than 1,100 sailors who died on that battleship in December of 1941 when Japanese planes launched a surprise attack.

The president and first lady passed ships back from the war in Iraq including a nuclear-powered submarine that fired the first Tomahawk missile of the campaign to topple Saddam Hussein.

They stopped at the battleship USS Missouri where the president had a briefing from commanders of the Navy's Pacific fleet. The couple met with ten Pearl Harbor survivors as well as about 60 World War II and Korean War veterans.

Mr. Bush told them they set a great example for future soldiers and sailors. He said he is glad to be home from a ten-day tour of Asia that took him to Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Australia.