(Photo: Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center)
The George W. Bush Presidential Center will host a live webcast for the invitation-only dedication ceremony for the 43rd president's library and museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, that will be attended by world dignitaries and the five living presidents on Thursday, April 25.
President Barack Obama and the first lady will be attending the ceremony, along with Bush's parents, George H.W. and Barbara Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.
Starting at 9 a.m. ET, the public will be able to watch a live webcast of the dedication ceremony that is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.
Due to the Boston Marathon bombings, the Secret Service, SMU police and the Dallas Police Department have increased security around Dallas-area locations that might be potential targets.
"The support role we play is one that is going to involve a lot of our resources, both personnel and equipment," Dallas Police Chief David Brown said to local media stations. "We will also stand up our emergency operations center as a precautionary measure."
Anti-war protestors who call themselves "The People's Response" will be scattered along a nearby freeway holding signs to protest the former president for what they believe to be war crimes committed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"We're here to say shame that we would be celebrating someone that hasn't even said sorry when the facts have been exposed and we all know we went there for a lie," said Jodie Evans, the co-founder of Code Pink during a working breakfast for protesters on Monday.
Built with private donations, the $250 million Bush Presidential Library and Museum – the 13th presidential library in the National Archives and Records Administration system – will open to the public on May 1.
The Bush Center is a three-story, 226,000-square-foot building and 15-acre urban park that resides on the SMU campus, and "…holds more than 70 million pages of paper records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails and 4 million digital photographs. And is the largest holding of digital records of any presidential library," according to the Bush Center's website.
Speaking about his memories from his two terms in office, Bush said in a videotaped interview on the Bush Presidential Center website that Sept. 11, 2001, changed him, and said that standing in Ground Zero felt "like hell."
The Bush Library and Museum will include the bullhorn the president used to speak to first responders at Ground Zero and the baseball he pitched at Yankee Stadium for the third game of the World Series after 9/11.
Bush also spoke about the many letters he received from children whose parents served in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Their letters to us were incredibly profound," the former president said, as he described how the comforter-in-chief became the comforted when he read through the letters that are now part of the Bush Library archives.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will be attending the ceremony, will also be in Dallas on Wednesday to give her first paid speech since leaving the Obama administration. She's scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the spring board meeting for the National Multi-Housing Council. The council wouldn't disclose the fee they're paying Clinton for her keynote address.
In addition to attending the dedication ceremony for the Bush Presidential Center, Obama will be giving the keynote speech at the annual Planned Parenthood gala in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Texas is now home to three presidential libraries: the George W. Bush Library at SMU in Dallas, the George H.W. Bush Library at Texas A&M University in College Station, and Lyndon B. Johnson Library at the University of Texas at Austin.
Bush Library officials anticipate about a half-million visitors in its first year.