THE WHITE HOUSE
the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
TO SPONSORS OF
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Mr. Mayor, Mr. President,
the Rector of the university and the Charlemagne Prize Foundation members. I
have given my speech today, so I would just like to make a couple of comments.
First, let me say that I have wanted to come to this great city since I was a
young man, over 35 years ago, when I first began to study the history of
Europe. And so today was, for me, a personal dream come true. And I only regret
that I didn't get to spend more time in the cathedral. But the Mayor says I can
come back. (Laughter and applause.)
Let me also say how very impressed
I am by the modern things about this city, as well, beginning with the Mayor
and the enlightened speech that he gave and the energy and friendliness of the
people. I have enjoyed it very much.
I would like to say just a word
about the Charlemagne Prize, itself. Fifty years ago, when this Prize was
created, the city fathers were true visionaries -- they refused to give into
the despair that enveloped so much of Europe. Today, after I gave my speech, so
many people came up to me and said, you're so optimistic. And I thought I was
being faithful to the founders of the Prize. And I find it foolish to have any
other attitude toward life.
If you look back over the last 50 years, I
think it is remarkable how far we have come. And, yes, there are great
challenges, but there's no reason to believe that good people can't do what
needs to be done.
Let me say with regard to the Prize, since it is
really about European unity and, for me, transatlantic unity, I thought that
the best thing I could do would be to donate the Prize money to a student
exchange program that would promote unity in a more immediate sense among
people still young enough to make the most of it. And so the exchange program
that I am going to give the prize money to joins Aachen and its sister city,
Arlington, Virginia, which is just across the river from the White House. And
there they are; I see them. (Applause.)
So I hope that some good will
come of it, and that young people from this community and Arlington will gain a
deeper insight into our respective nations, and a greater understanding of the
future that they will have to build.
This has been a wonderful day for
me. Thank you very much.
END 2:15 P.M. (L)