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Lighting of Bush center's Freedom Hall marked

Thursday - 4/25/2013, 10:54pm  ET

Fireworks burst in the sky as a part of the celebration during the lighting of Freedom Hall at the George W. Bush Presidential Center Thursday, April 25, 2013, in Dallas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

DALLAS (AP) -- Former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush watched fireworks burst above his newly dedicated presidential library during the lighting of Freedom Hall, a 67-foot-high "lantern" made of limestone that serves as a focal point of the building.

In the short ceremony Thursday night that featured several songs by the U.S. Army Chorus, Bush noted that it had been a "joyous" day.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center was dedicated Thursday morning. It includes his presidential library, a museum and a policy institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University.

The dedication ceremony featured comments from Bush and President Barack Obama, along with former Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Bush's father, George H.W. Bush.

The center opens to the public May 1.


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