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President Bush Says Fighting Overseas Makes America Safer

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U.S. President George Bush says American forces fighting overseas will ultimately make the world a more peaceful place. Mr. Bush spoke at the christening of an aircraft carrier named for his father, the former President George Herbert Walker Bush.

In explaining America's fight against terrorism, President Bush often returns to the challenges that faced Americans during the Second World War.

It is a personal connection, as his father flew 58 combat missions, and was shot down as a Navy pilot in the Pacific. George Herbert Walker Bush ejected from his burning aircraft, and was rescued by a submarine.

President Bush says his father's generation taught Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany a telling lesson: "that there is no soldier as strong as the soldier who fights for a free future for his children."

President Bush says freedom is again under attack, from terrorists, and Americans today are proving themselves every bit as brave and selfless.

"Today, they serve in distant lands and on far seas, from the islands of Southeast Asia to the Horn of Africa, to the mountains of Afghanistan and in Iraq. And once again, with perseverance and courage and confidence in the power of freedom, a new generation of Americans will leave a more hopeful and more peaceful world for generations to come," he said.

President Bush spoke at the christening of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, a 90,000-ton ship named for his father.

The elder President Bush called the honor every naval aviator's dream come true. He joined his son in praising today's armed forces, saying they are as determined as those who fought in the Second World War, veterans who have come to be known as "the Greatest Generation."

"In my humble view, we were no greater than the kids who serve today. All volunteer, all fighting," he said.

Much of the Bush family joined in the ceremonies at a Navy yard in the eastern state of Virginia. The current president poked fun at his mother, the outspoken former first lady.

"The George H.W. Bush is the latest in the Nimitz line of aircraft carriers. She is unrelenting. She is unshakable. She is unyielding. She is unstoppable. As a matter of fact, she probably should have been named the Barbara Bush," he said.

Six-thousand sailors will eventually serve on the $6 billion carrier, which is expected to be fully commissioned in 2008.

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