Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented director George Lucas with the Lincoln Medal at the Ford's Theater Grand Reopening Celebration this evening. The Ford's Theatre Lincoln Medal was established to recognize individuals whose body of work and accomplishments embody the character of President Abraham Lincoln. The reopening of Ford Theatre coincides with the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Below are the Speaker's remarks:
“Thank you for that kind introduction, Katie [Couric.]
“It is an honor indeed to be present at the grand reopening of the Ford's Theatre.
“As we celebrate the rich history of our great nation, we note the significant role that the arts have played in our democracy.
“America is a nation based on the principle of freedom of expression, established by ‘magnificent disrupters.' With great optimism and confidence, our Founding Fathers broke with old ways of thinking and established a new country with its own special vision for the future.
“President Abraham Lincoln continued this tradition as a magnificent disruptor of his time. He called upon our nation to think in bigger and more optimistic ways about the possibilities for the future.
“As he said of the troubled times in which he governed, ‘The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.'
“America is a nation ever-enriched by the subsequent generations of magnificent disruptors and their new ways of thinking.
“George Lucas is a magnificent disruptor of our time. He continues the kind of entrepreneurial, bold, and disruptive thinking that will always keep our nation young and hopeful.
“George Lucas is grounded in history and wired for the future. With his art, George Lucas has taken us around the world and to a galaxy far, far away. He has ignited and inspired the imagination of millions.
“My family has seen the Star Wars movies more than 100 times. The restoration of Ford's Theatre and the restoration of The Galactic Republic - who says the arts don't create jobs?
“And through the George Lucas Educational Foundation, George is helping to ensure that the opportunity to learn, to imagine, and to disrupt is available to all children.
“George Lucas is an American visionary. In recognition of his many accomplishments, Ford's Theatre is proud to present the Lincoln Medal to George Lucas.”