Former President George Bush urged Coast Guard Academy cadets to follow their values in serving their country during a speech Thursday.
Bush, speaking as a Hedrick Fellow at the Academy, said the values he learned from his mother as a child served him well throughout his political career.
His mother always told him to help others, be fair, be honest, be kind, listen and respect other people, he said.
The father of the current president said those values helped him build a coalition of countries when fighting against Iraq and served him well in other duties as president.
“These same timeless values that served us so well in winning the Cold War can help us win the peace in this new era of challenge,” Bush said.
Bush told the cadets that one of the hardest things he had to do as president was send servicemen and women to fight overseas in the Gulf War, Panama and Somalia.
He said today’s war on terrorism also will succeed because it is backed by allies around the world and by the people at home.
Bush added that his son, President George W. Bush, has a highly capable team of military and national security leaders who will achieve success.
“I think when history writes it, it will be seen as the greatest challenge a president has faced since Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” Bush said.
Bush spoke to a packed crowd of about 1,000 at the New London academy, which is celebrating its 125th year. Bush last spoke at the academy for its 1989 graduation ceremony. He used that occasion to announce his strategy to end the Cold War.
On Friday, Bush is scheduled to speak at a $200-per-plate breakfast fund-raiser for U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a Republican from Connecticut’s 2nd District who is running for re-election. Later in the day, Bush will put in another appearance at a $750 per-person private reception for Simmons.
The events are expected to raise about $100,000 for Simmons, who is seeking his second term in office.
Bush was head of the Central Intelligence Agency when Simmons was a CIA agent working in Asia in the 1970s.