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Former President George W. Bush sent a Veterans Day message amid ongoing wars, calling on Americans to “stay positive.”
“My advice is to stay positive because if you study world history or U.S. history, we go through cycles of being down,” Bush told Fox News. “And yet, Americans ought to realize how blessed we are to live in this country.”
The former president was hosting his institute’s annual Warrior 100-kilometer mountain bike ride.
Veterans Day is celebrated Nov. 11 each year to commemorate the service of current and former military members. Bush served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air National Guard from 1968 to 1974, during the Vietnam War.
The 43rd president’s tenure in the White House was also shaped by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that started the War on Terror. Under his administration, he ordered the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan to destroy al Qaeda and capture Osama bin Laden.
Referencing the ongoing wars between Russia and Ukraine and the newer conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, the former president said the “images are grim” and acknowledged, that “yes, there’s violence.”
“But ultimately, love overcomes hate,” Bush said in the interview. “As [has] been the case throughout history, it will be the case now. And I know that sounds corny to some of your listeners, but that’s why I stay optimistic because I know it’s gonna happen.”
The Bush Institute “strongly” condemned Hamas’s surprise strikes on Israel on Oct. 7, which sparked the war in Gaza, calling them “heinous terrorist attacks.”
“We urge the United States and our allies to stand unequivocally with Israel, its government and people, and support Israel’s right to defend itself against these threats,” the institute wrote in a statement. “Attacks on free and democratic states anywhere are attacks on all of us, whether in Israel, Ukraine, or elsewhere.”