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Prepared Remarks of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales

Thursday, September 29, 2005  
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Prepared Remarks of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales

9/29/2005 12:26:00 PM

To: National Desk, Legal Reporter, Congressional Correspondent

Contact: U.S. Department of Justice Public Affairs, 202-514-2007; Web:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following are prepared remarks of Attorney

General Alberto R. Gonzales at the

Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute:

Thank you and good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of President Bush, it is a privilege to be with you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

I realize that it is late and you have already heard from a number of speakers. But let me add my

voice to the chorus of gratitude to the

Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute for creating

a broader awareness of the diversity of thought, interests, and views of Hispanic Americans.

The differences among us may be many, but I know that most of us share the belief that America

is the greatest country in the world. This is the reason that millions of people have risked their

lives and sacrificed everything just for a chance to fulfill their dream of coming here.

Our Nation has so much to be thankful for, but perhaps most important is the bravery of our men

and women in uniform-men and women who work everyday to protect our freedoms, risking their

lives to build hope and peace and democracy.

Certainly, Hispanic Americans, as we all know, have added to the rich texture of America --

influencing music, literature, politics, and sports. But, just as we have seen throughout America's

history, Hispanics have excelled in defending our Nation against terrorism and extremism.

Earlier this year President Bush expressed America's thanks-as he has done so many times -- to

the families of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might live in freedom. His

choice for praise is telling.

On Memorial Day the President told the story of Sergeant Rafael Peralta. Rafael was an

immigrant from Mexico. Like generations of immigrants to America, Rafael came to this country

with a dream of America in his heart. The day after Rafael got his Green Card he enlisted in the

United States Marine Corps.

Rafael knew what was necessary for his family to live in freedom. He made the ultimate sacrifice

in Fallujah, where he died protecting his fellow Marines.

In this audience, we have Hispanic men and women who have served with honor in the United

States military. On behalf of the President and a grateful Nation, thank you. And we have many

more in this room who have dedicated their professional lives to America's highest ideals as

public servants and leaders.

President Bush understands the contributions and the strength Hispanic Americans and our

culture bring to America.

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