Historical landing

  1. Commander in Chief lands on USS Lincoln
    Thursday, May 1, 2003 Posted: 4:09 PM EDT (2009 GMT)

    President Bush flying in the co-pilot's seat of a Navy S-3B Viking made a tailhook landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln (May 1)

    ABOARD USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CNN) -- President Bush made a historic landing aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln Thursday, arriving in the co-pilot's seat of a Navy S-3B Viking after making two fly-bys of the carrier.

    "He's ... looking forward to addressing the nation from the deck of a moving aircraft carrier," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Wednesday. "That's a wonderful metaphor for the return of our troops from combat back to their families."


    I'm so proud, this is a great day
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   plumrn
    I saw it today. It was awesome! This is indeed, a great day.
  4. by   Mkue
    I'm going to try to catch it on the news tonight.

    Glad you got to see it plumrn !

  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Heard the speech on the radio. I was totally wrong.
    We defeated the ally of Al Quida.
    The Bush Dostrine is so right and logical, "Wage war to protect the peace."
    So sensible."
    You guys were right all along.
  6. by   Mkue
    Full Text: Bush Speech Aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln
    FDCH E-Media
    Thursday, May 1, 2003; 9:43 PM

    This is the full transcript of President Bush's speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to mark the end of major combat operations in Iraq.

    Thank you. Thank you all very much.

    Admiral Kelly, Captain Card (ph), officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.


    And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

    In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment, yet it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other made this day possible.

    Because of you our nation is more secure. Because of you the tyrant has fallen and Iraq is free.

    Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect and the world had not seen before.

    From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division or strike a single bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history.

    You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American armed forces.

    This nation thanks all of the members of our coalition who joined in a noble cause. We thank the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland who shared in the hardships of war. We thank all of the citizens of Iraq who welcomed our troops and joined in the liberation of their own country.

    And tonight, I have a special word for Secretary Rumsfeld, for General Franks and for all the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States: America is grateful for a job well done.


    The character of our military through history, the daring of Normandy, the fierce courage of Iwo Jima, the decency and idealism that turned enemies into allies is fully present in this generation.

    When Iraqi civilians looked into the faces of our service men and women, they saw strength and kindness and good will. When I look at the members of the United States military, I see the best of our country and I am honored to be your commander in chief.

    the images of fallen statues we have witnessed the arrival of a new era. For a hundred of years of war, culminating in the nuclear age, military technology was designed and deployed to inflict casualties on an ever-growing scale.

    In defeating Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, Allied forces destroyed entire cities, while enemy leaders who started the conflict were safe until the final days. Military power was used to end a regime by breaking a nation.

    Today we have the greater power to free a nation by breaking a dangerous and aggressive regime.

    With new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians.

    No device of man can remove the tragedy from war, yet it is a great advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent.


    In the images of celebrating Iraqis we have also seen the ageless appeal of human freedom. Decades of lies and intimidation could not make the Iraqi people love their oppressors or desire their own enslavement.

    Men and women in every culture need liberty like they need food and water and air. Everywhere that freedom arrives, humanity rejoices and everywhere that freedom stirs, let tyrants fear.


    We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons, and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated.

    We are helping to rebuild Iraq where the dictator built palaces for himself instead of hospitals and schools.

    And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by and for the Iraqi people.


    The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done and then we will leave and we will leave behind a free Iraq.


    The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001 and still goes on.

    That terrible morning, 19 evil men, the shock troops of a hateful ideology, gave America and the civilized world a glimpse of their ambitions. They imagined, in the words of one terrorist, that September the 11th would be the beginning of the end of America.

    By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed that they could destroy this nation's resolve and force our retreat from the world.

    They have failed.


    In the battle of Afghanistan, we destroyed the Taliban, many terrorists and the camps where they trained. We continue to help the Afghan people lay roads, restore hospitals and educate all of their children.

    Yet we also have dangerous work to complete. As I speak, a special operations task force lead by the 82nd Airborne is on the trail of the terrorists and those who seek to undermine the free government of Afghanistan.


    From Pakistan to the Philippines to the Horn of Africa, we are hunting down Al Qaida killers.

    Nineteen months ago I pledged that the terrorists would not escape the patient justice of the United States. And as of tonight nearly one half of Al Qaida's senior operatives have been captured or killed.


    The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We have removed an ally of Al Qaida and cut off a source of terrorist funding.

    And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more.


    In these 19 months that changed the world, our actions have been focused and deliberate and proportionate to the offense. We have not forgotten the victims of September the 11th, the last phone calls, the cold murder of children, the searches in the rubble. With those attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States, and war is what they got.


    Our war against terror is proceeding according to the principles that I have made clear to all.

    Any person involved in committing or planning terrorist attacks against the American people becomes an enemy of this country and a target of American justice.


    Any person, organization or government that supports, protects or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world and will be confronted.


    And anyone in the world, including the Arab world, who works and sacrifices for freedom has a loyal friend in the United States of America.


    Our commitment to liberty is America's tradition, declared at our founding, affirmed in Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, asserted in the Truman Doctrine and in Ronald Reagan's challenge to an evil empire.

    We are committed to freedom in Afghanistan, Iraq and in a peaceful Palestine.

    The advance of freedom is the surest strategy to undermine the appeal of terror in the world. Where freedom takes hold, hatred gives way to hope.

    When freedom takes hold, men and women turn to the peaceful pursuit of a better life.

    American values and American interests lead in the same direction. We stand for human liberty.


    The United States upholds these principles of security and freedom in many ways: with all of the tools of diplomacy, law enforcement, intelligence and finance.

    We are working with a broad coalition of nations that understand the threat and our shared responsibility to meet it.

    The use of force has been and remains our last resort. Yet all can know, friend and foe alike, that our nation has a mission: We will answer threats to our security, and we will defend the peace.


    Our mission continues. Al Qaida is wounded, not destroyed. The scattered cells of the terrorist network still operate in many nations and we know from daily intelligence that they continue to plot against free people. The proliferation of deadly weapons remains a serious danger.

    The enemies of freedom are not idle, and neither are we. Our government has taken unprecedented measures to defend the homeland and we will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike.


    The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide.

    No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost; free nations will press on to victory.


    Other nations in history have fought in foreign lands and remained to occupy and exploit. Americans, following a battle, want nothing more than to return home. And that is your direction tonight.


    After service in the Afghan and Iraqi theaters of war, after 100,000 miles on the longest carrier deployment in recent history, you are homeward bound.


    Some of you will see new family members for the first time; 150 babies were born while their fathers were on the Lincoln. Your families are proud of you, and your nation will welcome you.


    We are mindful as well that some good men and women are not making the journey home. One of those who fell, Corporal Jason Mileo, spoke to his parents five days before his death. Jason's father said, ``He called us from the center of Baghdad, not to brag but to tell us he loved us. Our son was a soldier.

    Every name, every life is a loss to our military, to our nation and to the loved ones who grieve. There is no homecoming for these families. Yet we pray in God's time their reunion will come.

    Those we lost were last seen on duty.

    Their final act on this Earth was to fight a great evil and bring liberty to others.

    All of you, all in this generation of our military, have taken up the highest calling of history: You were defending your country and protecting the innocent from harm.

    And wherever you go, you carry a message of hope, a message that is ancient and ever new. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, ``To the captives, come out; and to those in darkness, be free.''

    Thank you for serving our country and our cause.

    May God bless you all. And may God continue to bless America.


    The full speech
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank you for the full text!

    I loved the part where he critisized SH for building palaces instead of hospitals and schools.
    Let us follow the lead of the President!
    Lets rebuild the hospitals and schools in Iraq and rebuild those that were destroyed by Columbia HCA, Tenet, and others here in the USA.
    Let us build hospitals (and staff them) here in the USA.
    Let us build nursing schools!
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on May 2, '03
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    Bush Proclaims Victory in Iraq
    Work on Terror Is Ongoing, President Says

    By Karen DeYoung
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, May 2, 2003; Page A01

    President Bush proclaimed victory in Iraq tonight from aboard a
    U.S. aircraft carrier returning to home port, but he cautioned that
    much remains to be done in the broader war against terrorism.

    "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on
    September the 11th, 2001, and still goes on," the president said
    in his national address beamed from the deck of the Lincoln.

    Bush told the nearly 5,000 sailors gathered on the flight deck
    under a bright sun that they had fought "for the cause of liberty
    and for the peace of the world."

    Portraying the anti-terrorist battles in the tradition of the
    Normandy invasion and Iwo Jima, Bush placed his own doctrine
    of overwhelming American strength and the use of preemptive
    force along side Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, the
    Truman Doctrine of containment, and Ronald Reagan's challenge
    to the Soviet Union's "Evil Empire."

    In that context, Bush issued what appeared to be a warning to
    Syria, North Korea, Iran and other countries that the
    administration has accused of aiding terrorists or seeking
    weapons of mass destruction.

    "Any person, organization or government that supports, protects
    or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent
    and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Any outlaw regime that has
    ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass
    destruction is a grave danger to the . . . world -- and will be
    confronted," he said.

    In a speech with lengthy references to the terrorist attacks of
    Sept. 11, 2001, he portrayed Iraq as one more battle in the
    global war on terrorism that is continuing "from Pakistan to the
    Philippines to the Horn of Africa."

    "The war on terror is not over, yet it is not endless, " Bush said.
    "We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the
    turning of the tide." Victory in Iraq, he said, was "a crucial
    advance. . . . We've removed an ally of al Qaeda and cut off a
    source of terrorist funding."

    Although "nearly one-half of al Qaeda's senior operatives have
    been captured or killed," he said, the terrorist organization was
    "wounded, not destroyed."

    Before the invasion of Iraq, Bush repeatedly justified the war as necessary to remove weapons of mass
    destruction that posed a direct threat to the United States. Tonight, Bush sidestepped U.S. failure thus far
    to find any chemical or biological weapons in Iraq, nearly a month after toppling Saddam Hussein's

    Instead, Bush said only that U.S. forces have "begun the search," and he settled for assurances that "no
    terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no

    White House officials described today's event as the "bookend" to Bush's March 19 Oval Office speech
    announcing the beginning of the war. But the president carefully avoided announcing that the war itself was
    over, a declaration that has international legal ramifications. Instead, he said that " major combat operations
    in Iraq have ended."

    While Bush said that "difficult work" remains in Iraq and U.S. forces would stay until it is done, the
    administration's focus has clearly moved on. In a symbolic segue from military to economic policy, Bush
    will travel Friday to a factory manufacturing Bradley Fighting Vehicles, in the depressed Silicon Valley, to
    talk about the economy.

    Although his words were triumphant, Bush's tone was measured. Some in the audience of sailors and
    airmen sat on the upper fuselage and wings of two F/A-18 Hornets on deck. Most stood quietly between
    what were clearly the applause lines and then clapped respectfully. Their most enthusiastic and lengthy
    cheers came when Bush congratulated their performance in Iraq and told them near the end of his speech
    "you are homeward-bound."

    The Lincoln will dock in San Diego on Friday after 290 days at sea.

    When he finished his 22-minute speech, Bush walked along the rope line, shaking hands with sailors whose
    blue "utility" uniform shirts perfectly matched the sky.

    Bush was to spend the night on the Lincoln, and both his arrival and stay here provided the ultimate in
    presidential symbolism. For a president fresh from victory in battle, who has cultivated an aggressive,
    can-do image, it was a scene straight from "Top Gun" that is sure to appear in future campaign ads.

    Bush was so exhilarated by the sights and sounds of the ship, he abandoned his usual media aversion and
    became a virtual camera hog, grinning and posing with sailors, shouting at journalists to take more pictures
    and ask about his flight.

    "I miss flying, I can tell you that," the former National Guard pilot yelled at one point, over the constant din
    of the carrier.

    When Air Force One landed at San Diego's North Island Naval Air Station, Bush went immediately for a
    briefing on the S-3B Viking that would carry him to the Lincoln, about 30 miles offshore. He emerged
    dressed in a full flight suit, carrying a helmet under his arm, and climbed aboard the jet, an anti-submarine
    warplane that aviators on the Lincoln said had been used during the war largely to refuel F/A-18 Hornet
    strike fighters on missions over Iraq.

    On the deck of the Lincoln, flight crews, cameras and dozens of reporters who had been flown to the ship
    from San Diego awaited his arrival.

    Although most of the sailors aboard were kept off the deck during landing, a loudspeaker announced that
    there was to be "no cheering" until Bush had been officially piped aboard after exiting the plane. "At that
    time, you'll be allowed to cheer as loudly as possible, and you'll be encouraged to show your affection," the
    disembodied voice said. It then warned that there was to be "no spitting on deck."

    Bush's plane was renamed Navy One for the flight. Under the cockpit window, where pilots normally
    inscribe their names, it said "George W. Bush. Commander in Chief." Flying wing-to-wing with another
    Viking, the plane made two passes over the carrier before touching down on the flight deck and jerking to
    a halt as its landing hook caught the deck wire.

    Bush, who had taken off his helmet and thus avoided photographic comparisons to presidential candidate
    Michael S. Dukakis's unfortunate episode with a tank helmet during 1988 campaign, jumped down in full
    flight regalia, a smile splitting his face. The Navy had planned an official greeting, with Bush being piped
    aboard and walking through two rows of "sideboys" saluting him -- a tradition that dates from the days
    when visiting officers were hauled up the side of the ship in a boatswain's chair.

    Bush ignored it all, swaggering forward and pumping hands with everybody in sight before they could
    salute. "Here's a man with a birthday," he yelled at a television cameraman as he swung his arm around a
    sailor. "Put him on C-SPAN." For once, there were no security concerns to keep Bush from pressing flesh,
    and he made the most of it, hugging and patting everyone on the back -- from the greasy flight deck crew
    to F-18 pilots waiting to fly home this afternoon.

    "Great job, great job," he kept saying. "I flew it," he shouted back to a reporter's shouted question about
    his flight. "Yeah, of course I liked it. It was fantastic."

    Later, Bush explained that he had taken the controls from the pilot, Cmdr. John "Skip" Lussier, for about a
    third of the 15-minute flight at 360 knots, but had just steered during the "straight" parts. It was, he said,
    "much more sophisticated" than the jets he used to fly during his tour in the National Guard. Bush had a
    briefing from the Air Wing Commander and crew members who described their personal experiences flying
    in combat, watched gun camera footage and heard a battle damage assessment.

    He took a tour of the ship, peering down at one point and whistling to reporters below to listen up for a
    "press conference" in which he expanded on his flight. He sat in the captain's chair, and moved back to the
    flight deck to watch the catapulted departure of 36 F-18s of the Naval Carrier Air Wing 14 headed home
    to their base near Fresno, Calif.

    The three squadrons of Hornets hurtled one after the other into the sky, leaving behind a deafening roar, a
    bone-holding vibration and jet exhaust that breathed like a furnace across the deck. The display ended
    when 12 of the jets reappeared in a V formation to fly over the ship in a formal farewell.

    White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the speech had been written over the past week, by chief
    speechwriter Michael Gerson with input from Communications Director Dan Bartlett and adviser Karen P.
    Hughes, but that the decision to give it was not made until after Bush spoke by telephone Tuesday with
    Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the U.S. military commander in Iraq.

    The White House had repeatedly said that Bush would not declare an end to the war, and U.S. victory,
    until Franks told him the fighting was over. Continuing skirmishes with resistance forces in Iraq, and the
    legal ramifications of declaring a formal "cessation of hostilities" led to the adoption of the "end of major
    combat operations" formula.

    Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, all prisoners of war must be released at the end of hostilities. U.S.
    forces are holding more than 6,000 Iraqi prisoners of war in a camp in southern Iraq.

    2003 The Washington Post Company
  9. by   WashYaHands
  10. by   Mkue
    Oh yes, there will always be those pundits.. thanks Linda, good article.

    The Presidents energy always amazes me, he sure knows how to lift the spirits of those who are serving our country.
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    I can't imagine the pundits diminished their joy at coming home to their families. Who sent them away from their families?

    "And much of punditry treated those soldiers as mere props, as not even human. I understand that most pundits
    don't know too many of the people on that ship, but it doesn't take a huge act of imagination to feel what they have
    been through and to at least register their idealism and what they have suffered for it. "

    Who chose to go to the ship, slow it so no land showed, dress as a soldier, and piolt the plane?
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on May 2, '03
  12. by   WashYaHands
    I think that the reason you and I think so differently about things stems from our different cultures. Until last December, I've been an Army wife for 16 years and my dad is a retired Airforce Lt. Col. The military is one of the many cultures that I've known and lived. I can't speak for all military, but there is a deep respect and admiration for a commander in chief who means what he says and says what he means. And there is an increased espirit de corps of the military, at least for those I've met and know, when the respect and admiration from the commander in chief to his forces is genuinely reciprocal.

    There have been Presidents in the past, who by their words and actions, loathed the military. The military in general picked up on this, and the mutual respect suffered, as did morale.

    As far as spouses, I'll share something that I received years ago. I think it sums up the pride of most military spouses. I post it in hopes that you might better understand what military families go through. You could replace "Army wife" with "military wife", it means the same thing.

    The Army Wife

    I am an Army wife - a member of that sisterhood of women who have had the courage to watch their men march into battle and the strength to survive until their return. Our sorority knows no rank for we earn our membership with a marriage license, traveling over miles or over nations to begin a new life with our soldier husbands.

    Within days we turn, echoing building into a home, and though our quarters are inevitably white walled and unpapered, we decorate with the treasures of our travels for we shop the markets of the globe.

    Using hammer and nail, we tack our pictures to the wall and our roots to the floor as firmly as if we had lived there for a lifetime. We hold a family together by the boot straps and raise the best of "brats", instilling into them the motto, "home is togetherness", whether motel or guest house, apartment or duplex.

    As Army wives, we soon realize that the only good in "good-bye" is the "hello again." For, as salesmen for freedom, our husbands are often on the road, leaving us behind for a week, a month, an assignment. During the separation we guard the home front, existing till the homecoming.

    Unlike our civilian counterparts, we measure time, not by age, but by tours - married at Knox, a baby born at Bliss, a promotion in Missouri. We plant trees and never see them grow tall, work on projects that are completed long after our departure, and enhance our community for the betterment of those who come after us. We leave a part of oursleves at every stop.

    Through experience we have learned to pack a suitcase, a car, or hold baggage and live indefinately from the contents within; and though our fingers are sore from the patches we have sewn and the silver we have shined, our hands are always ready to help those around us.

    Women of peace, we pray for a world in harmony, for the flag that leads our men into battle will also blanket them in death. Yet we are an optimistic group, thinking of the good and forgetting the bad, cherishing yesterday while anticipating tomorrow.

    Never rich by monetary standards, our hearts are overflowing with a wealth of experiences common only to those united by special tradition of military life. We pass on this legacy to every Army bride, welcoming her with outstretched arms, with love and friendship, from one sister to another, sharing in the bounty of our unique, fulfilling Army way of life. ~~~

    It is certainly your right to dislike our President and his administration. If everyone thought the same as I do, life would be pretty boring. But, for some of us, we're darned proud to have a president who doesn't cower down to those who seek to harm the U.S. and believes in the basic right of freedom. We're proud of this commander-in-chief.

    Last edit by WashYaHands on May 2, '03
  13. by   Furball
    Linda, all I can do reading your post is with a tear in my eye.
  14. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by WashYaHands

    There have been Presidents in the past, who by their words and actions, loathed the military. The military in general picked up on this, and the mutual respect suffered, as did morale.

    I've heard this too Linda, the military does not deserve to be treated that way ever.

    I love your post "The Army Wife" or (Military Wife)

    My favorite paragraph: "Women of peace, we pray for a world in harmony, for the flag that leads our men into battle will also blanket them in death. Yet we are an optimistic group, thinking of the good and forgetting the bad, cherishing yesterday while anticipating tomorrow."