“It was a very wonderful day,” says Locke Lord partner Harriet Miers (pictured)about the April 25 dedication of George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the Southern Methodist University campus.
“Just to see the four past presidents and current president celebrate the nation and to recognize that they each have had to sit behind the desk and have the weight of the nation on their shoulders,” brought a gravitas to the event, says the former White House deputy chief of staff, one-time U.S. Supreme Court nominee, and current secretary of the board of the George W. Bush Foundation.
Miers also reunited with other Bush administration alumni. Many have gathered at other events in recent months, such as the hanging of the former president’s portrait in the White House, but the library dedication drew the greatest number of alumni since the 43rd president left office.
One of Miers’ strongest impressions of those reunions was the growth of individuals who were just starting their careers during the Bush years.
“Many times, they expressed the significance of that White House experience on them,” she says.
Their comments prompt Miers to recommend that any young person who has the opportunity to join a presidential administration to take it, no matter which party occupies the White House, she says.
What exhibits at the new Bush library and museum does Miers predict will particularly interest lawyers?
“Every American will be moved by the 9-11 exhibit,” she says.
Miers recounts that one Bush administration alumae, who viewed the exhibit for the first time with her, had to step away and find a tissue to daub her tears.
In addition to the somber portions of the exhibits, however, there also are more light-hearted opportunities. Miers recommends that everyone visit the museum’s life-size replica of the Oval Office, where visitors may sit in the president’s chair.
“It’s very neat for people to be able to experience that,” she says.
-- Miriam Rozen