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Five ex-US Presidents attend hurricane relief concert

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Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Five former US Presidents attended a benefit concert in Texas to raise money for hurricane relief efforts, the media reported.

Former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama
appeared together on stage on Saturday night at the One America Appeal fundraiser held at Texas A&M University’s Reed Arena in College Station, reports The Hill magazine.

The group appeared on stage and held their hands over their hearts while the national anthem played.

At the event, Obama said he “could not be prouder” of Americans for their response to help victims of the recent hurricanes that struck the US.

“All of us on this stage here tonight could not be prouder of the response of Americans… When they see their neighbours and they see their friends, they see strangers in need, Americans step up.

“And as heartbreaking as the tragedies that took place here in Texas and in Florida, in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have been, what we’ve also seen is the spirit of America at its best: When ordinary people step up and do extraordinary things.”

Clinton echoed Obama’s statement telling the crowd that volunteering in the wake of crises dates back before America’s founding.

“We’ve been volunteering since before our Constitution when Benjamin Franklin organised the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia. Our neighbours, our friends, have got an enormous amount of ‘sweat equity’ from all these volunteers, and a lot of money.

“If we just do what we ought to do, and prove that the heart of America, without regard to race or religion or political party is greater than our problems,” The Hill magazine quoted Clinton as saying.

The joint effort has raised $31 million for disaster relief, the campaign announced hours before the concert.

President Donald Trump did not attend the event, but sent a video message to be played at the concert, thanking the former presidents for their efforts.

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