George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama joined George W. Bush on stage at the debut of the new facility on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
All of the men spoke warmly of Bush while Obama said "To know President George W. Bush is to like him."
The former president’s father George H.W. Bush spoke for less than 30 seconds while remaining seated. When he finished he broke up those on stage by turning to his son and asking “too long?”
An ovation followed prompting Barbara Bush and her son to help him stand to acknowledge the crowd.
When it was his turn Bush began by saying "my deepest conviction, the guiding principle of the administration, is that the United States of America must strive to expand the reach of freedom. I believe that freedom is a gift from God and the hope of every human heart."
The library holds more than 70 million pages of records on paper and a complete replica of the Oval Office as it appeared during Bush’s two terms.
There are also over 42,000 artifacts and four million digital pictures.
Perhaps the most poignant reminder of Bush’s time in office is a section of steel from the World Trade Center and the bullhorn Bush used to address and support rescue and recovery workers as they worked at the attack site.