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Let Freedom Hall Ring

Former prez and friends party down after dedication of George W. Bush Presidential Center

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Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting, crowd
The evening lighting of Freedom Hall was a downright party with fireworks and music.  Photo by Jerry McClure
President George W. Bush, Laura Bush, freedom lighting
Former president George W. Bush and Laura Bush at the lighting ceremony. Photo by Jerry McClure
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting, crowd
The crowd raised flags and cheered for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.  Photo by Jerry McClure
Jack Ingram
Country star and SMU alum Jack Ingram performed at the evening celebration.  Photo by Jerry McClure
President George W. Bush, Laura Bush, freedom lighting
Laura and George W. Bush dressed down for the evening celebration at the presidential library that bears his name. Photo by Jerry McClure
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting, crowd
The George W. Bush Presidential Center officially opens May 1.  Photo by Jerry McClure
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting, crowd
Freedom Hall, a 67-foot-high limestone structure, is the main entrance to the Bush Center. Photo by Jerry McClure
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting
The evening ceremony included music by the U.S. Army chorus.  Photo by Jerry McClure
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting, crowd
President George W. Bush, Laura Bush, freedom lighting
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting, crowd
Jack Ingram
President George W. Bush, Laura Bush, freedom lighting
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting, crowd
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting, crowd
Bush Presidential Center, freedom lighting

DALLAS — The Thursday morning dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center was a stately affair, but the evening lighting of Freedom Hall was a downright party. A small crowd of supporters attended the brief evening ceremony, which included fireworks and music by the U.S. Army chorus and country star Jack Ingram, an SMU alum.

Laura and George W. Bush dressed down for the evening. The former first lady sported a knee-length purple party dress, and the former president went tieless for a business casual look.

Freedom Hall, a 67-foot-high limestone structure, is the main entrance to the Bush Center. The University Park facilities are located near SMU's entrance and include a library, museum, presidential archives and public policy institute. It officially opens to the public on May 1.

The first presidential library of the 21st century, the Bush Center holds 200 million emails, 70 million pages of paper records, 4 million digital photographs, 50,000 audio tapes and 43,000 historical artifacts. 

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