《布什告别演讲》(Bush's Farewell Address)
THE PRESIDENT: Fellow citizens: For eight years, it has been my honor to serve as your President. The first decade of this new century has been a period of consequence — a time set apart. Tonight, with a thankful heart, I have asked for a final opportunity to share some thoughts on the journey that we have traveled together, and the future of our nation.
Five days from now, the world will witness the vitality of American democracy. In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people. Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose history reflects the enduring promise of our land. This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-Elect Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two beautiful girls.
Tonight I am filled with gratitude — to Vice President Cheney and members of my administration; to Laura, who brought joy to this house and love to my life; to our wonderful daughters, Barbara and Jenna; to my parents, whose examples have provided strength for a lifetime. And above all, I thank the American people for the trust you have given me. I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. And I thank you for the countless acts of courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed these past eight years.
This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house —September the 11th, 2001. That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives in the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor. I remember standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center three days later, surrounded by rescuers who had been working around the clock. I remember talking to brave souls who charged through smoke-filled corridors at the Pentagon, and to husbands and wives whose loved ones became heroes aboard Flight 93. I remember Arlene Howard, who gave me her fallen son’s police shield as a reminder of all that was lost. And I still carry his badge.
As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our nation. I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.
Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security has been created. The military, the intelligence community, and the FBI have been transformed. Our nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists’ movements, freeze their finances, and break up their plots. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them. Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taliban harbored al Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and
encouraging girls to go to school. Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the United States.
There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil. This is a tribute to those who toil night and day to keep us safe — law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
Our nation is blessed to have citizens who volunteer to defend us in this time of danger. I have cherished meeting these selfless patriots and their families. And America owes you a debt of gratitude. And to all our men and women in uniform listening tonight: There has been no higher honor than serving as your Commander-in-Chief.
The battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience, and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God, and that liberty and justice light the path to peace.
This is the belief that gave birth to our nation. And in the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect our citizens. When people live in freedom, they do not willingl y choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity. We’re standing with di ssidents and young democracies, providing AIDS medicine to dying patients — to bring dying patients back to life, and sparing mothers and babies from malaria. And this great republic born alone in liberty is leading the world toward a new age when freedom belongs to all nations.
For eight years, we’ve also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home. Across our country, students are rising to meet higher standards in public schools. A new Medicare prescription drug benefit is bringing peace of mind to seniors and the disabled. Every taxpayer pays lower income taxes. The addicted and suffering are finding new hope through faith-based programs. Vulnerable human life is better protected. Funding for our veterans has nearly doubled. America’s air and wa ter and lands are measurably cleaner. And the federal bench includes wise new members like Justice Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.
When challenges to our prosperity emerged, we rose to meet them. Facing the prospect of a financial collapse, we took decisive measures to safeguard our economy. These are very tough times for hardworking families, but the toll would be far worse if we had not acted. All Americans are in this together. And together, with determination and hard work, we will restore our economy to the path of growth. We will show the world once again the resilience of America’s free enterprise system.
Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I’ve always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some of the tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.
The decades ahead will bring more hard choices for our country, and there are some guiding principles that should shape our course.
While our nation is safer than it was seven years ago, the gravest threat to our people remains another terrorist attack. Our enemies are patient, and determined to strike again. America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard.
At the same time, we must continue to engage the world with confidence and clear purpose. In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.
As we address these challenges — and others we cannot foresee tonight — America must maintain our moral clarity. I’ve often spoken to you about good and evil, and this has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two of them there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense — and to advance the cause of peace.
President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” As I leave the house he occupied two centuries ago, I share that optimi sm. America
is a young country, full of vitality, constantly growing and renewing itself. And even in the toughest times, we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.
I have confidence in the promise of America because I know the character of our people. This is
a nation that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom. This is a nation where citizens show calm in times of danger, and compassion in the face of suffering. We see examples of America’s character all around us. And Laura an d I have invited some of them to join us in the White House this evening.
We see America’s character in Dr. Tony Recasner, a principal who opened a new charter school from the ruins of Hurricane Katrina. We see it in Julio Medina, a former inmate who leads a faith-based program to help prisoners returning to society. We’ve seen it in Staff Sergeant Aubrey McDade, who charged into an ambush in Iraq and rescued three of his fellow Marines.
We see America’s character in Bill Krissoff — a surgeon from California. His son, Nathan — a Marine — gave his life in Iraq. When I met Dr. Krissoff and his family, he delivered some surprising news: He told me he wanted to join the Navy Medical Corps in honor of his son. This good man was 60 years old — 18 years above the age limit. But his petition for a waiver was granted, and for the past year he has trained in battlefield medicine. Lieutenant Commander Krissoff could not be here tonight, because he will soon deploy to Iraq, where he will help save America’s wounded war riors — and uphold the legacy of his fallen son.
In citizens like these, we see the best of our country - resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there’s more ahea d. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great nation will never tire, never falter, and never fail.
It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. There have been good days and tough days. But every day I have been inspired by the greatness of our country, and uplifted by the goodness of our people. I have been blessed to represent this nation we love. And I will always be honored to carry a title that means more to me than any other - citizen of the United States of America.
And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time: Good night. May God bless this house and our next President. And may God bless you and our wonderful country. Thank you. (Applause.)
各位公民:八年来,我有幸担任你们的总统 。新世纪的第一个十年是一段意义重大的时期——一个时间分界点。今晚,我怀着一颗感谢的心,请求一个最后的机会,就我们一起走过的旅程以及国家的未来,与诸位分享一些想法 。
今晚,我满怀感激——感激副总统切尼以及行政成员们;感谢劳拉,她给这个家带来欢乐,给我的生活带来爱;感谢我们了不起的女儿芭芭拉和詹娜;感谢我的父母亲,他们的榜样为我提供了毕生的力量。最重要的是,我感谢美国人民给我的信任 。我感谢你们的祈祷鼓舞了我的灵魂 。我感谢你们在过去八年让我目睹了无数体现勇气、慷慨与仁慈的行动 。
今晚,我的思绪回到我站在这个地方向你们致辞的第一个晚上——2001年9月11日。那天早上,恐怖分子夺走了近3000性命,这是自珍珠港事件以来,美国遭遇的最严重的袭击 。我记得于三天后站在世贸中心的废墟中的情形,周围是全天候工作的救援人员 。
我记得我跟那些在五角大楼烟雾弥漫的走廊里工作的勇敢灵魂谈话,跟那些登上93号航班最终成为英雄的人们的妻子们谈话。我记得阿琳·霍华德(Arlene Howard),她把已经陨落的儿子的警察勋章给了我,提醒我我们失去了什么。我仍然戴着他的徽章 。
随着时间的流逝,大多数美国人可以回归911之前的生活,但我就不能。每天早上,我都收到一份关于我国面临威胁的简报 。我发誓要尽我所能保证我们的安全 。
在过去七年,一个新的国土安全部成立了 。军队 、情报界以及FBI已经警告改造 。我们的国家装备了新的工具去监控恐怖分子的活动,冻结他们的金融,打破他们的阴谋。而且在强大盟友的支持下,我们向恐怖分子以及那些支持他们的人们发起了战斗 。
阿富汗已经从塔利班窝藏基地组织、在大街上对妇女行石刑的国家变成一个年轻的民主体,与恐怖主义斗争,鼓励女孩子去上学 。伊拉克已经从一个残暴的独裁国家和美国的死敌变成一个位于中东之心的阿拉伯民主体,变成美国的朋友 。
在危险时刻,公民自愿捍卫国家,这是我们国家之福。我珍惜与这些无私的爱国者以及他们的家人的会晤 。美国欠你们一份感激 。致今晚所有在聆听的全体男女军人:作为你们的三军总司令是至高无上的荣耀。
我们的部队发起的战斗属于更为广泛的 、两种根本不同的制度之间的斗争的一部分 。在其中一种制度下,一小撮狂热分子要求全体服从一种压制性的意识形态,迫使妇女卑屈,杀害不信仰者。而另一种制度则是基于这样的信念:自由是万能的上帝赋予所有人的礼物,自由与正义照亮和平之路 。
因此,美国在全世界推广人的自由 、人的权利以及人的尊严 。我们支持异见人士及年轻的民主体,提供爱滋病药物让濒临死亡的病人恢复生机,不让疟疾伤害母亲与婴儿。这个仅为自由而生的伟大共和国带领世界走向自由属于所有国家的新时期 。
透过以信仰为基础的项目,上瘾者与受苦者找到了新希望 。脆弱的生命得到更好的保护。用于退伍军人的资金几乎翻了一番 。美国的空气 、水和陆地更加清洁。而且联邦法官席上有了像法官阿利托(Sam Alito)和首席法官罗伯茨(John Roberts)这样睿智的新成员 。
当我们的繁荣面临挑战,我们起来面对 。面对金融崩溃的前景,我们采取了果断措施保护我们的经济。努力工作的家庭面临非常困难的时刻,但如果我们不采取行动,损失会严重得多。所有美国人团结在一起,凭着决心以及努力的工作,我们将让经济重上增长之路 。我们将再一次向世界展示美国自由企业体系的弹性 。
和此前负责这个办公室所有人一样,我曾经历挫折。如果还有机会,在一些事情上我会改变做法 。然而,我在做事的时候总是心怀我们国家的最佳利益 。我按照我的良心,并做了我认为正确的事情。你可能不会同意我所作出的一些艰难决定 。但我希望你们明白我愿意作出这些艰难的决定。
尽管我们的国家比七年前安全,我们的民众所面临的最严重威胁仍然是再度发生的恐怖袭击。我们的敌人很有耐心,决心再次袭击。美国没有寻求挑起冲突,也不应该遭受这些冲突 。但我们已经肩负庄严的责任,我们必须面对 。我们必须抵制自满 。我们必须保持决心 。我们绝不能放松警惕 。
与此同时,我们必须继续怀着信心与明确的目标与世界接触 。面对海外的威胁,转向内部寻求安慰是很有诱惑力的 。但是我们必须拒绝孤立主义及作为其同伴的保护主义 。在21世纪,国内的安全与繁荣有赖于自由在海外的扩大。如果美国不带领自由事业,这项事业就得不到指引 。
在我们解决这些挑战——以及其他一些我们无法在今晚预测的挑战时,美国必须维持我们的道德明确性。我经常跟你们说善与恶 。这令一些人感到不舒服 。但善恶存在于世上,两者之间不会有任何妥协 。无论在何时何地,把杀害无辜者作为推广意识形态的手段都是错误的做法。
让人们摆脱压迫和绝望是永远正确的 。国家必须继续为正义和真理发言。我们必须始终愿意行动起来捍卫它们,推进和平的事业 。
杰斐逊总统曾写道,“我喜欢未来的梦想更甚于过去的历史 。”在我离开这个他于两个世纪前所在的地方时,我赞成他的这种乐观精神 。美国是一个年轻的国家,充满活力 、不断成长和自我更新。甚至在最艰难的时刻,我们都会放眼前面广阔的地平线 。
我们看到里卡斯钠博士(Dr. Tony Recasner)的美国特质,这位校长在卡特里娜飓风的废墟中开办一所新的特许学校 。我们看到麦地那(Julio Medina)身上的美国特质,这位前囚犯带领一个以信仰为基础的项目,帮助囚犯重回社会。我们在上士麦达德(Staff Sergeant Aubrey McDade)身上的美国特质,他负责伊拉克的一次埋伏并拯救了三名同伴的海军陆战队队员 。
我们在克里斯托夫(Bill Krissoff)这位来自加州的外科医生身上看到美国特质 。他的儿子内森(Nathan)是一位海军陆战队队员,在伊拉克献出了生命 。当我和克里斯托夫及其家人会面时,他带来了一些令人吃惊的新闻:他告诉我,他像加入海军医疗队以纪念他的儿子 。这位好人60岁了——比年龄上限大了18岁 。
从这些公民身上,我们看到了我们国家最美好的一面——弹性与希望,关怀与强大。这些优点让我对美国怀着不可动摇的信念 。我们曾面临危险与考验,前面还会有更多危险与考验 。但凭着人民的勇气,以及我们对理想的信心,这个伟大的国家永不疲惫……永不动摇……永不失败 。
担任你们的总统是我一生的荣幸 。我们有过好日子也有过艰难日子。但每一天,我都因我们国家的伟大而受到鼓舞,都因我们民众的善良感到振奋 。能够代表我们所爱的这个国家,这是我的福份 。我将永远为一个比其他任何头衔更有意义的身份而感到荣幸:美利坚合众国公民 。