President Delivers Greensburg Graduation Speech

Exactly one year from the date that an EF5 tornado ripped through this tiny Kansas town, President George Bush delivered the commencement address to 18 graduating seniors at Greensburg High School on May 4, 2008.

About 900 guests attended the ceremony where Bush personally presented diplomas to each graduate and spoke about the importance of community and rebuilding green.

“The leaders of your town understand that out of the devastation of the storm comes an opportunity to rebuild with a free hand and a clean slate,” he said. “They envision a future where new jobs flourish, where every public building meets the highest environmental standards, and where the beauty of rural America meets the great possibilities of new technology. The community is dedicated to putting the ‘green’ in Greensburg.”

The town of 1,500 will be the first model green community with a standard of LEED platinum for all city-owned buildings. Many residents plan to rebuild green homes as well. The federal government has contributed more than $62 million to aid the tornado-stricken town.

To learn more about Greensburg’s green rebuilding project, visit

More about presidential initiatives

• Read about how President Obama is working with the Department of Energy to change lighting efficiency standards.

• The authorities on green building offer advice on how to give the White House a green makeover.

• It’s a green victory! Read about how the Obamas are growing an organic vegetable garden at the White House.

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