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Remarks to Summit of the Eight Volunteers in Denver

June 22, 1997

The President. Thank you.

Audience member. Teachers love you, Mr. President!

The President. Well, I love the teachers, too, so I thank you very, very much.

Let me say, first of all, my heart is full of gratitude to all of you this afternoon, to my longtime friends Governor and Mrs. Romer; to Mayor and Mrs. Webb for the astonishing work that they have done on this. I thank Lieutenant Governor Gail Schoettler and the other members of the host committee. I want to say a special word of thanks to Donna Goode and Mike Dino for the work they did. Thank you very much. And a special word of thanks to the leaders of our team here, Harold Ickes and Debbie Willhite, for the work they did.

I had this idea, when the time came for America to host the summit—you know, the easy thing to do when you host a summit like this is to go to a really big city and put everybody up in a really fancy hotel and go hear the orchestra on Saturday night or something. And I think that's a good thing to do, by the way. But what I was trying to do with this summit—I tried to figure out, where could we have this summit where people could get a flavor of the natural beauty of our country that is unique, the sort of frontier spirit of our country that is unique, but our common commitment, first of all, to shaping the future and embracing it, and secondly, to doing it together, across the lines that too often divide people in this old world? And Denver seemed to me to be the logical place to do that. And I think I made a good decision, and you helped to make it so.

The other leaders commented to me on many things. The people who got to take the train loved the train. They all loved the fort last night. They loved the buffalo meat, the horse show, and the double rainbow, which I said—and they all said they didn't know the Federal Government had control over rainbows. They were quite impressed. [Laughter] They loved the sort of panorama of American musical history that was put on. And I thank everybody who worked on that. That was an enormous effort and a very impressive one, and I thank you for that.

But the thing they all kept coming back to was how wonderfully friendly the people were, how genuinely glad they were to see them, and how respectful they were of the nations they represented and the work they were here to do, and what an upbeat atmosphere prevailed. I mean, the human climate and the human warmth they felt is the thing I think they'll take away from here, more than anything. And I think you can be very, very proud of that because I know that the volunteers were principally responsible for making sure that they all felt that way.

Let me just finally say, you know, these summits are interesting affairs; they rarely produce some searing headline on some great issue, but they—I have done quite a number of them now, in Japan and in Italy and in Canada and in France and now this one here, and I can tell you an enormous amount of what countries do together to make this world a better place and to beat back the problems of the world germinates from the work we do at these summits and the way we get to know each other, the way we get to understand one another's countries and cultures and political environments and the sense of common purpose we have. Again, I think it wells up more from the people than anything else.

So when you go home tonight, after you have your party and your celebration and all the things Hillary talked about and you put your head on the pillow before you go to sleep, I hope you'll take a great deal of pride in the fact that you have made a personal contribution to creating a world of tomorrow in which there is more peace, more prosperity, more freedom, and more harmony. That is what we are working for. And we made a real step forward in the last couple of days, thanks in no small measure to you.

Thank you, and God bless you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:53 p.m. in Currigan Hall at the Convention Center. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Roy Romer of Colorado and his wife, Bea; Mayor Wellington E. Webb of Denver and his wife, Wilma; Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler of Colorado; Donna Goode, director of the host committee; and Mike Dino, executive director, City of Denver Task Force for the Summit.

William J. Clinton, Remarks to Summit of the Eight Volunteers in Denver Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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