From: Democratic National Committee
Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2004
The following is a transcript of remarks (as prepared for delivery) by the Honorable John Glenn at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, July 28, 2004:
Good afternoon. More than 40 years ago, in a time of Cold War challenges -- but also a time of hope, possibility and new frontiers -- America sent me on a journey into space that not only changed my life, but changed our nation's view of earth itself.
A few years ago, I was privileged to make another journey into space, aboard the space shuttle Discovery, this time with 83 scientific research projects on board -- projects to benefit you and your children right here on earth. The world I saw from the heavens was no less spectacular the second time around. And while I am exceptionally proud to have represented America on these journeys of discovery, I am concerned.
I am concerned about the erosion of America's commitment to the twin pillars of our success in the 20th century -- leadership in education, and leadership in scientific research. It was education and research that helped American scientists eradicate deadly diseases like polio and smallpox that had plagued humanity since the dawn of time. It was education and research that enabled us to produce the technology necessary to win World War II.
It was education and research that fueled our post-war economic boom; with so many veterans studying under the G.I. Bill, it generated a whole new base for new technology, new types of business and good, middle-class jobs. It was education and research that gave us new opportunities to study in this new and unique laboratory of space, and that helped America put my friend Neil Armstrong on the moon, and win the Cold War.
In short, a commitment to leadership in education and research underpinned America's rise to greatness over the past 100 years. Our strength was built on sound public schools in every community, strong universities with the best labs, and a commitment to the ever-curious, questing spirit of America that is still unlocking the secrets of the universe through top-flight science. And it will be future education and research -- from earth and from space that will create the new industries and new jobs that increase our standard of living and will determine our leadership position in the world.
Unfortunately, under the current administration, that bedrock American commitment to leadership in education and research is eroding. Other countries are fast gaining ground on us, investing more and more in their education, producing more and more of their scientists, and threatening America's greatest competitive strengths -- knowledge, innovation, and creativity.
As America's next president, my friend John Kerry is not just going to talk about these issues. He is going to take decisive action to guarantee American leadership. I know this because I know John Kerry. I have worked with him closely in the Senate. I have traveled with him. I have seen his commitment to this great country, and to its even greater future.
So join me! Join John Kerry! With your help, we can build that stronger America together, and continue expanding the frontiers of knowledge, opportunity and human possibility. Thank you.
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