There are three presidential libraries in Texas. It seems a shame not to visit them if you live in the state. Last year we toured LBJ’s in Austin.
This past week-end we visited George Herbert Walker Bush’s on the A & M campus.
First, the setting is very nice. It sits on 90 acres with grass covered small undulating hills with some live oaks scattered around.
The picture above shows the front to the library and museum.
To the left of the entrance is is this statue. It is is reminiscent of the horses at Los Colinas in Irving. Notice that here the horses are not running through water but are jumping a wall.
The wall replicates parts of the Berlin Wall, which came down in 1989, during Bush’s presidency. Although he doesn’t take credit for it, it was an epic historic event. But Pres. Bush used his diplomatic skills to bring about the end of the Cold War.
The statuary is entitled “The Day the Wall Came Down, A Monument to Freedom”. The artist, Veryl Goodnight, created the horses to represent the freedom of the human spirit. A duplicate monument is in Berlin.
This brings back personal memories for us. We were living in Germany at the time and traveled to Berlin the month before this surprising event. The communist rule was evident everywhere as we crossed into East Germany and even intimidating at times.
A month after the fall of the wall, our son, a Baylor student, visited us. We all drove to Berlin to experience this exciting time. We joined in chipping out chunks from the wall, trying to get them large enough to preserve. At one spot, a couple of East German soldiers peeked through an opening. We all three started to back away, but they smiled and motioned for us to step into the now free country.
Pres. Bush requested that the artist write the names of the 15 people who were killed trying to cross the wall on the dove of peace painted on the wall.
Stones along the walkways outside recognize people and groups that to contributed to the construction of the library.
Beyond the horses is a small garden area. Although this is not the best time of the year to observe a garden, some plants were alive, including this Dusty Miller above.
A few Paper Whites were blooming.
On past the garden, the sidewalk leads to this pond area.
The inside of the museum was extremely well done. I can’t say this strongly enough. The whole life of Pres. Bush is presented and gives a real sense of the man.
This miniature presentation of the capitol building shows his time as a congressman.
All through the museum are small doghouses like this one. A question is asked on the bone inside the house in both English and Spanish. Children responded on a worksheet. In case they couldn’t find the the answer, it was provided with an explanation for understanding.
I’m guessing the stuffed dog represented the Bush’s dog, Millie.
Pres. Bush served as an ambassador to the United Nations.
Then he was an Envoy to China. The Terracotta Warrior and some pictures depicted his time in China.
A clever exhibit showed his time as CIA Director. I won’t spoil it by explaining it.
Bush served as Vice President to Pres. Reagan and was elected to the presidency after that. I was struck by how much experience he had gained before his own presidency.
A field tent and soldiers presented the Gulf War.
The above statement in the Situation Room seems to sum up Pres. Bush’s philosophy.
If you can possibly visit this library, I highly recommend it. Outside we were surprised to notice that we had spent two and one half hours inside.
One of Bush’s favorite quotes:
“Look up, and not down;
Look out, and not in;
Look forward, not back;
And lend a hand.”
Edward Everett Hale, Chaplain of US Senate, in The Man Without A Country.