White House Press Office

(excerpts of the President address)
Wealthy and prosperous nations have a moral obligation to help poor and struggling people find their own paths to progress and plenty. To whom much is given, much is required, and we"ve been given a lot here in America. It"s the calling of our conscience, and it"s a compelling national interest. A quote that Dr. Borlaug made reference to when he received the Nobel Prize says it well: "You can"t build peace on empty stomachs."

In the past half-century, we have seen a glimpse of the world that is yet to come. Since the end of the World War II, the advance of trade and technology has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. That"s really the triumph of human liberty stretching across natural boundaries. It is a tribute to innovation and entrepreneurship. And these are the characteristics that can be found in the very best of our citizens, such as the man we honor today.

When Dr. Borlaug received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from one of my predecessors, Gerald Ford, the citation noted that Norman"s work "has pushed back the shadow of hunger on this planet and given us precious time to force its final retreat." That final retreat will come only as long as we hold in our hearts the revolutionary spirit of men like Norman Borlaug, whose Green Revolution brought hope to troubled corners of the world, where grateful villagers still praise his name.

The most fitting tribute we can offer this good man is to renew ourselves to his life"s work, and lead a second Green Revolution that feeds the world, and today we"ll make a pledge to do so.

Dr. Borlaug, I thank you for your vision and dedication. I thank you for leading a life of great purpose and achievement. I thank you for proving to Americans that what we learned as children is true, that one human being can change the world. May God bless you, sir. May God continue to bless our wonderful country.

Additional information:Google>Congressional Gold Medal to Dr.Norman Borlaug.


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