In his State of the Union address
tonight, Jan. 29, 2002, President Bush
called for the creation of a USA Freedom Corps
. As part of this he asked all American
s to devote 2 years of volunteer service
over the remainder of their lives to the service of their nation
and their neighbor
s. He also called for creation of a Homeland Security Corps
and expansion of the pre-existing AmeriCorps
, Senior Corps
, and Peace Corps
programs. He seemed to be saying these various programs would together become the new USA Freedom Corps
This quote is from the transcript
of the speech posted on the Whitehouse
website under Office of the Press Secretary.
"For too long our culture
has said, "If it feels good, do it." Now America
is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: "Let's roll." (Applause.) In the sacrifice of soldiers, the fierce brotherhood of firefighter
s, and the bravery and generosity of ordinary citizen
s, we have glimpsed what a new culture of responsibility could look like. We want to be a nation that serves goals larger than self. We've been offered a unique opportunity, and we must not let this moment pass. (Applause.)
My call tonight is for every American
to commit at least two years -- 4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime -- to the service of your neighbors and your nation. (Applause.) Many are already serving, and I thank you. If you aren't sure how to help, I've got a good place to start. To sustain and extend the best that has emerged in America, I invite you to join the new USA Freedom Corps
. The Freedom Corps will focus on three areas of need: responding in case of crisis at home; rebuilding our communities; and extending American compassion throughout the world.
One purpose of the USA Freedom Corps
will be homeland security
. America needs retired doctors and nurses who can be mobilized in major emergencies; volunteer
s to help police
and fire department
s; transportation and utility workers well-trained in spotting danger.
Our country also needs citizens working to rebuild our communities. We need mentors to love children, especially children whose parents are in prison. And we need more talented teachers in troubled schools. USA Freedom Corps
will expand and improve the good efforts of AmeriCorps
and Senior Corps
to recruit more than 200,000 new volunteers.
And America needs citizens to extend the compassion of our country to every part of the world. So we will renew the promise of the Peace Corps
, double its volunteer
s over the next five years -- (applause) -- and ask it to join a new effort to encourage development and education and opportunity in the Islamic
This time of adversity offers a unique moment of opportunity -- a moment we must seize to change our culture. Through the gathering momentum of millions of acts of service and decency and kindness, I know we can overcome evil with greater good. (Applause.) And we have a great opportunity during this time of war to lead the world toward the values that will bring lasting peace."