Former President Brings Patriotic Flair To Hurricane Relief Concert

When the five living ex-presidents gathered Saturday night to help raise money for hurricane victims, some observers spotted a small but interesting detail.

According to the Independent Journal Review, former President George H.W. Bush was wearing a jacket with red, white and blue stitching. The patriotic fashion choice could be clearly seen when Bush and the other past commanders-in-chief put their hands on their hearts during the national anthem before a benefit concert at Texas A&M University. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush stood while the elder Bush sat in a wheelchair.

President Trump, in a video message shown at the event, praised the five past White House occupants. “Melania and I want to express our deep gratitude for your tremendous assistance,” he said. “This wonderful effort reminds us that we truly are one nation under God, all unified by our values and our devotion to one another.” The White House issued a statement urging “all Americans to be as generous as they can in helping storm survivors through this difficult time.”

CNN reported that by late Sunday, the fundraising effort had raked in almost $33 million from more than 80,000 contributors. Most of the pledges came during the concert, which starred Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, Sam Moore, Yolanda Adams and others. Country music legend Lee Greenwood served as the emcee.

Lady Gaga, who also attended the benefit, tweeted: “Nothing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe. #OneAmericaAppeal.” She chipped in a “generous” contribution, according to a spokesman for George H.W. Bush. All the money will go to those devastated by recent storms in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“It’s important that those affected by these devastating storms know that even if the path to recovery feels like a road that goes on forever, we’re with them for the long haul,” said the elder Bush, who received praise for having created volunteer initiatives in his adopted home state of Texas. “He sets an example for all of us, as does first lady Barbara Bush,” Obama said. George W. Bush added: “I speak for the folks right here when I say we really admire and love George H.W. Bush.”

Carter announced that an organization he has supported for nearly four decades, Habitat for Humanity, will build 6,000 homes in hurricane-ravaged communities. He said the nonprofit group has raised one-fifth of the estimated $100 million that the construction projects will cost. Clinton pointed out that Americans have a long history of helping disaster victims. “We’ve been volunteering since before the Constitution, when Benjamin Franklin organized the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia,” he said.

Last month, after Hurricane Harvey slammed into southern Texas, the five former presidents taped a video message in which they encouraged people to make donations to relief efforts. They did the same thing following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Source: Independent Journal Review
Photo: Twitter

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