On November 30th, 2018, President George H.W. Bush left this world for his heavenly home at the age of 94. At the end of his life, this 41st president, war hero, and successful man of great character spoke only of his longing to be reunited again with the love of his life Barbara who he was married to for 73 years, and their young daughter Robin who died at age 3 from leukemia.
But though this greatly loved, inspiring couple is no longer with us here on earth, one thing is sure: their incredible influence has made its mark among us. And our world is better because of it.
The legacy, service, strength, and wisdom of President George H.W. Bush will continue to shine through the lives he influenced, and in the nation he loved.
As we remember and celebrate the life of this humble and courageous man, here are 25 memorable quotes about freedom, giving, serving, love, and the humorous side of life.
25 Best Quotes from President George H.W. Bush on Service, Freedom, and Life:
On Service, Giving, and God:
“In crucial things, unity. In important things, diversity. In all things, generosity.”
“I think the spirit of America, one American wanting to make another American’s life better, or internationally our desire to see countries do better, or people in countries do better, coming from this concept of volunteerism is a very valid and important part of our internal being.”
“There is a God and He is good, and his love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: We must be good to one another.”
“America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world.”
“This is America … a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.” (Aug. 18, 1988, Acceptance speech at Republican National Convention)
“Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education.”
On Success and Working Hard:
“Be bold in your caring, be bold in your dreaming and above all else, always do your best.”
“The American Dream means giving it your all, trying your hardest, accomplishing something. And then I’d add to that, giving something back. No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.” (June 2, 1995, in an interview with the American Academy of Achievement)
“No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit.”
“I was offered a job on Wall Street by my uncle. But I wanted to get out. Make-it-on-my-own kinda thing.”
On Freedom and the Future:
“I do not mistrust the future. I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger. Our challenges are great, but our will is greater. And if our flaws are endless, God’s love is truly boundless.” (Jan. 20, 1989, during his inaugural address)
“We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state.” (Jan. 20, 1989, during his inaugural address)
“…The quest for freedom is stronger than steel, more permanent than concrete.”
“Look to the very heart of Europe, to Berlin, and you will see a great truth shining brighter with each passing day: The quest for freedom is stronger than steel, more permanent than concrete.” (November 1989, as the Berlin Wall was crumbling)
“The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change, a symbol of hope to all the world.”
On Life and Humor:
“I do not like broccoli, and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” (March 22, 1990)
“Don’t forget: Old guys can still have fun and still do stuff” (June 16, 2009, in an interview with HLN anchor Robin Meade just after his 85th birthday)
“I like a colorful sock. I’m a sock man.” (June 12, 2012, in an interview with his granddaughter, TODAY show host Jenna Bush Hager)
“I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.”
“Don’t confuse being ‘soft’ with seeing the other guy’s point of view.”
“Losing is never easy. Trust me, I know something about that.” (Jan. 5, 1993, speech at West Point, two months after his failed re-election bid)
On the Love of His Life Barbara Bush:
“I have climbed the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”
“We complement each other. She’s unbelievable and very strong, very strong person. And yet very loving.”
“I love you precious with all my heart. And to know that you love me means my life.” (from letters written to Barbara)
“Little did I know I was only trying to keep up– keep up with Bar– Barbara Pierce from Onondaga Street in Rye, New York. I love you.”
“You have given me joy that few men know.” (from letters written to Barbara)Thank you, President Bush.
Our hearts and prayers are with the Bush family during this time. May God fill their lives with incredible peace and comfort in knowing that there are greater days still ahead, for He gives us the gift and hope of heaven.
Thank you, President Bush, for your service to our nation, your courage, spirit of giving, wisdom, and the legacy you have left behind. Thank you for your love and devotion to people, to your family, and to God. Our world is a better place, because of you.