Public Papers

Remarks Upon Arrival in Salt Lake City, Utah


Thank you very, very much. Governor, thank you so much. I don't know how you feel about it, but every time I climb on that airplane I get a tremendous thrill about seeing it as a symbol, a symbol of the United States of America as we travel around the world. I hope you felt the same way when you saw that thing taxi up here.

I keep hearing and reading about the amount of time traveling I do but I'll tell you something: I don't spend near as much time going through the air as Ty Detmer does. [Laughter]

Let me salute the Governor, my friend, and thank him for this -- Governor Bangerter and his Lieutenant Governor, Val Oveson. And of course, our Members of Congress that are with us: Congressman Hansen over here and, of course, our two nationally famous, wonderful Senators, Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch. What a job all three of these are doing for your State back in Washington, DC.

You know, a serious note, one thing that does constantly impress me is the sheer greatness of the United States as I travel in this plane around the world. We've witnessed staggering changes recently, positive changes for the most part. And we ought to be very, very proud that it was our country, the United States of America, that has led the global revolution towards democracy, free enterprise, and yes, human rights.

And everywhere you go, it doesn't matter if it's Africa or the Soviet Union or Eastern Europe or what used to be called the Republics and now are free States in the Baltic States, people look to the United States of America. It's your country and mine, that they look to for their freedom.

And I wish I were this guy's age right here -- the two flagmen. You can't see them. How old are you? He's 6, this guy is 6; I wish I were 6 years old and could think of the wonderful life that lies ahead as you see this world moving towards democracy and freedom. I believe that the things that have happened in the world just in the last few months guarantee that this guy won't have to be looking over his shoulder worrying about nuclear weapons. All he can do is think about having a good and strong and prosperous life in the great United States of America.

We still marvel at the courage of Utah's settlers more than a century ago, and Norm touched on it, harnessing faith and muscle and technological ingenuity to build a civilization and make the desert bloom. Well, today Utah takes its brave place in America's special mission in the world, affirmed once again by the heroic service of the State's sons and daughters in Operation Desert Storm.

I might say, two sons of Utah came out with me on this airplane. From Provo is Roger Porter over here, one of our top assistants in the White House. And next to him, General Brent Scowcroft, who was at my side during Operation Desert Storm. He's the head of our National Security Council. So, we brought two Utahans back home today.

But it's not all national security. Utah is a leader in involving parents and families in education. And it's a leader in the results we are seeing through America 2000's education strategy. And among many of your impressive achievements is your first place ranking among all the States in the percentage of high school grads passing the Advanced Placement exams. You should be very, very proud of that.

And I think you've proved, and your Senators and this Congressman keep reminding me of this, that Utah proves that a tax-and-spend is not the formula for quality education. Actually you spend less per pupil and receive less Federal aid per pupil than any other State. But you promote the values of hard work, and that equips students with the knowledge and the skills necessary to adapt to changing times and conditions, and helps them develop those abilities, incidentally, that they'll need to compete in the international economy of the 21st century.

Your economy is growing. It's vibrant. You're creating jobs. You're showing what a dedicated, skilled work force can produce. And your workers are recognized across the country as efficient and as innovative. You bring entrepreneurship and hard work together in an inspiring formula for success.

I might also say that you shine with the achievements of volunteers. The propensity of one American to help another is voluntarism. We call it Points of Light. And I'm honored to greet, in a minute, George Simmons, Marykaren Harward, Lucille Isakson, representatives of the Bridgerland Literacy Program and the Salt Lake City Community Shelter and Resource Center. They are the true heroes, joined by many of you, the true heroes of community service.

From here I'll be going down to see one that's a favorite of Jake Garn's. I'm going to the Primary Children's Medical Center to celebrate their new expansion. And there I'll announce a key new feature of our Healthy Start initiative to improve the health of babies. And I'll announce help for 15 communities that face a problem Utah does not suffer: high infant mortality rates. We will stress good prenatal care including healthy lifestyles for expectant mothers. And we will point to the communities such as yours where the public works to ensure that babies are born healthy.

It is a great treat for me to be here. I have only one regret, and that is that Barbara Bush didn't climb down those stairs with me today. She would have loved this, believe me. I can tell I'll have a good visit. It'll be short.

In Utah, people live by the code that success in life must include serving others. And you understand something that I wish everyone around our country did. You understand that we are a nation of families. And I can see this in the values that your State reflect, your good schools, your respect for God's creation. And again, thank you for this warm, warm welcome. And may God bless the people of Salt Lake City, the great State of Utah, and of our United States of America. Thank you all very, very much.

Note: The President spoke at 3:04 p.m. on the tarmac of the Salt Lake City International Airport. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Norman H. Bangerter and Lt. Gov. W. Val Oveson of Utah; Ty Detmer, quarterback of the Brigham Young University football team; Representative James V. Hansen; Senators Jake Garn and Orrin G. Hatch; Roger B. Porter, Assistant to the President for Economic and Domestic Policy; Brent Scowcroft, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; and Points of Light recipients George Simmons, Marykaren Harward, and Lucille Isakson. A tape was not available for verification of the content of the remarks.