Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gilmer Yamboree

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Monday, November 26, 2001  •  Speech

Thank you Steve. Queen Adrienne, congratulations on winning this year’s crown.  I know your parents Cathy and Rodney Lindsey are very proud.

Mayor Dean, Dr. Glaze, Yamboree President Joe Tillery, friends from East Texas: It is my great honor to be a part of the 64th Annual East Texas Yamboree.

When I told my daughter Sydney what I would be doing today, she thought that the person who typed the invitation was missing the letter “j” on their typewriter.

She said, “what’s next?  A West Texas wattlesnake wound-up?”

It’s always fun to come to East Texas.  Just a few months ago I had the pleasure of blowing the horn on old steam engine #201, and taking the Texas State Railroad from Palestine to Rusk.

I want you to know whether you’re from Gilmer, or El Paso, it is a great honor to be your governor- and, I might add, the first Aggie governor.

But right now, being an Aggie, Longhorn or Red Raider takes a back seat to just being an American.

And I want to tell you something: the forces of evil can crumble our buildings, but they will never crumble this nation.  The American love affair with freedom is stronger than any weapon in the arsenal of evil.

Freedom will prevail because freedom is worth defending.

I want all Texans to remain calm, at the same time, as a state we will not be complacent.  I recently appointed the Governor’s Task Force on Homeland Security to assess the ability of this state to deter a terrorist attack, and to respond to such an attack if one should ever occur on Texas soil.

At President Bush’s urging, I deployed members of the Texas National Guard to dozens of Texas airports to increase security and provide peace of mind to the flying public.

America will survive this dark hour, and America will continue to be a beacon of light to all who desire to live under the lamp of liberty.

I want to close today by saying I am proud that this Yamboree celebration helps fund scholarships for deserving East Texans.

Learning in Texas can no longer be a K through 12 endeavor.  Every graduating high school student should aspire to go to college to seek a K through 16 education.

As the son of two tenant farmers, I know the value of a college education.  From humble beginnings often come the most vivid of dreams.  Texans of modest means should not be limited to modest dreams.

That’s why we tripled the TEXAS Grant Scholarship Program to $300 million last session, so 100,000 deserving Texans of modest means can pursue a college education.

You are doing your part to help your young students here in Gilmer, and you should be proud.

Thank you for inviting me to participate in this year’s East Texas Yamboree.  God bless you, and God bless America.

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