Farewell and thank you President Bush.
I know you left with a low approval rating. While I didn't agree with everything you did, I thought you did a very good job. I think you deserve better than you've gotten from the American people.
You stood by your convictions and did what you believed to be best for all of us.
You dealt with the horrible 911 attack and kept us safe. You made tough decisions that affected many lives, even to the extent of loss of those lives. And you had to live with those decisions--so I know you did not make them lightly. I can barely imagine what goes on behind the scenes-- that we in the general public are not privy to-- and with it all the hard decisions that must be made on a minute by minute basis.
It is easy to judge a man not having walked in his shoes. And to those who think you were a horrible person and a horrible president--well, don't number me among them. It takes a man of conviction to stand firm in his decision in spite of the unpopularity of them. It takes strength of character not to lash out and hit back.
The gentlemanly way you handled the transition from the White House--meeting with the Obamas and graciously welcoming them-- is admirable, and even the New York Times took note. Personally, I have little use for the New York Times, but I am glad they gave you the credit you deserve. You certainly don't blow your own horn, as so many are prone to do.
I appreciate you, and Mrs. Bush. I was proud to call her First Lady--as a lady she did behave. I appreciate your love and faithfulness to our country. I'm thankful for your family, knowing that they gave up some personal liberty, being part of the first family. It must be difficult to live your life constantly surrounded by the Secret Service.
If I could, I'd give you a big hug around the neck. God bless you, and yours, in the days to come.