The George W. Bush Presidential Library & Center was dedicated this past Thursday here in Dallas, or to be precise, on the Southern Methodist University in University Park. My office is directly across Central Expressway (US 75) from the new edifice, and I have been watching the construction progress since the formal groundbreaking in late 2011.
I have also taken photographs from time to time for a chronicle of the progress. Here are a few.
During the week before dedication, things were rather hectic in the neighborhood. Putting the finishing touches on the building, setting up the stage on the fronts, the seating area, and the press box was done in a flurry of activity. Not the least of the consideration was the security; a sitting President and four former Presidents, together with numerous other prominent guests, domestic as well as foreign, made a tempting target for enemies such as al-Qaeda and assorted other fanatics and madmen. The temporal proximity to the Boston Marathon bombing made that especially eerie.
Nevertheless, the ceremony went off without a hitch. There was adequate pomp and ceremony. All of the speakers, regardless of party, were gracious toward former President Bush. All of their remarks were mercifully brief, even Bill Clinton’s.
On my side of the Expressway were a smattering of protesters, still expressing outrage mainly toward the Bush Administration’s handing of the post 9/11 response and wars. That is a sacred right of Americans, which never should be abridged. One can hardly see their point, though. Bush’s Presidency is four and a half years gone, and the present administration is pretty much handling things in the same way, though not necessarily characterizing some subsequent acts of terror as such.
At this writing, I have only visited one Presidential Library, Harry Truman’s in Independence, Missouri, and that was by happenstance, rather than design. During the next week or so, I plan to visit my second, this time right across the street.