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Bush Lays Wreath in Honor of Madrid Train Bombing Victims - 2004-03-12

President Bush has taken part in ceremonies at the Spanish ambassador's residence in Washington in honor of the 198 people killed when bombs ripped through commuter trains in Madrid Thursday.

The president laid a wreath in the courtyard of the Spanish ambassador's residence at the foot of a pole flying the Spanish flag at half staff.

Mr. Bush signed a condolence book for the victims of the blast, writing "God Bless the people of Spain." Flanked by Ambassador Javier Ruperez, Mr. Bush said the bombings are a "grim reminder" that there are evil people in the world willing to kill innocent lives.

"The United States of America stands firmly with you as we work to make the world more peaceful and more free," Mr. Bush said. " Killers try to shake our will. They try to shake our confidence in the future. The Spanish people will stand firm against this type of killing, and they will have a friend in the American people."

The president said the people of the United States send their prayers and sympathies to the Spanish people who he said are mourning the loss of life and weeping for their loved ones.

Mr. Bush said he appreciates Spain's strong support in fighting terrorism. Spain was one of the leading backers of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.