Schwarzenegger's speech deserves special mention

Posted: Tuesday, September 07, 2004

It should be mandatory viewing for students in civics class. It should be played in a loop at Ellis Island.

In a rousing testimonial to freedom and opportunity, the movie actor-turned California governor recalled his dreams of America while growing up in his native Austria. He recalled the fear of a young Schwarzenegger not yet an action hero, he joked that Soviet occupiers might take his father or uncle away to slave labor camps.

"Today," he said, "the world no longer fears the Soviet Union, and it is because of the United States of America!"

"I was born in Europe, and I've traveled all over the world. I can tell you that there is no place, no country, more compassionate, more generous, more accepting and more welcoming than the United States of America."

Noting that Japan and Germany were supposed to leave America behind economically in the past 20 years, Schwarzenegger declared that "the U.S. economy remains the envy of the world. ... We move prosperity ahead. We move freedom ahead. We move people ahead.

"We are still the lamp lighting the world. ..."

Playing off his famous Terminator movie line, Schwarzenegger pronounced, "Ladies and gentlemen, America is back! Back from the attack on our homeland, back from the attack on our economy, back from the attack on our way of life."

Schwarzenegger commended Republican principles of freedom from government, and credited President George W. Bush's perseverance and inner strength for helping bring America back.

As this most successful and inspirational immigrant reminded us, the lamp lighting the world shines on.

Augusta Chronicle

Sept. 2

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