From speaking as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in 1989 to working with former President Bill Clinton on hurricane relief, former President George H.W. Bush was not lost for words during these notable moments both during and after his presidency.
“Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service — to be, in his words, ‘a thousand points of light’ illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world,” President Trump said in a statement after receiving the news.
Read on for a look at five of the 41st president’s most memorable quotes.
At his inauguration in 1989
During his inauguration on Jan. 20, 1989, Bush famously spoke on freedom.
“We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state,” he said.
As the Berlin Wall crumbled
In a notable moment during his presidency, Bush, who presided during the collapse of the Soviet Union and the final months of the Cold War, spoke as the infamous concrete barrier finally fell.
“Look to the very heart of Europe, to Berlin, and you will see a great truth shining brighter with each passing day: The quest for freedom is stronger than steel, more permanent than concrete,” Bush said as the Berlin Wall crumbled in November 1989.
Days before leaving office
In January 1993, days before leaving office, Bush said he intended to “put something back into society” — but not “at the head of the table.”
“I plan to put something back into society, and not at the head table, not always in the glamour, certainly not with a lot of news attention,” he said.
At former President Ronald Reagan’s funeral
Bush, who served as vice president for former President Ronald Reagan, honored Reagan at his funeral on June 11, 2004.
“I learned more from Ronald Reagan than from anyone I encountered in all my years of public life,” Bush said.
On working with former President Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton beat Bush in the 1992 presidential election, scraping his chances for a second term. But Bush once discussed his “apolitical” work with Clinton on tsunami and hurricane relief in 2005.
“Who would have thought that I would be working with Bill Clinton, of all people? … It’s been an eye-opening and enjoyable experience for me to work with him on something truly apolitical,” he said Oct. 25, 2005.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.