The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Perry emphasizes importance of education

Friday, Gov. Rick Perry placed emphasis on the important role that Texans have in responding to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
His speech at Rudder Auditorium addressed the importance of higher education.
Citizens in the United States that are currently getting a higher education, said Perry, are just as important as those who are joining the military to help maintain the freedom that the United States currently enjoys.
“What we do in Texas, education-wise, is the equivalent with what the federal government must do with our national defense, in keeping this country free,” said Perry.
Currently, Perry said, only one out of five citizens in the State of Texas has a degree past high school.
Perry added that one of the issues that the Texas Legislature is working on now is how to increase the number of students and citizens in the state who have a degree beyond high school.
On average, Perry said, someone who obtains a degree beyond the high school level will make a lifetime earning of $1.2 million.
“I happen to think that there is not a more important role that we have as a state government than making an education for every child who has a willing heart and a futile mind to have the same opportunities as you do today,” Perry said.
Perry told the primarily student audience that although they may not put on a uniform, they can still help their country in its time of need.
“All of us have a moral responsibility and personal responsibility to do everything we can,” Perry said. “I know not everyone is going to put on a uniform or serve our country in the military but [Texas A&M] teaches you about giving back to your country and giving back to your state.”
Perry, class of 1972, said he knew that Aggies will respond when they are needed.
“You are being called to service. You are being called by your country, you are being called by your state, and you are being called by your community,” Perry said. “And I know one thing, Aggies always answer that call.”
Although he is proud of the way most Texans have responded to the country’s attack, he said that a few have been incorrect in placing blame on those of Islamic faith.
“There have been a few instances, when people for ignorant reasons have attacked an individual that is middle-eastern because of what happened on Sept. 11,” Perry said. “That is totally and absolutely unacceptable. There are so many of Islamic faith who share our love for this country, and it is inappropriate for Texans to lash out at individuals simply because of how they look.”
Although Perry said he knew he had talked a lot about the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, it was weighing heavy on his mind.
“I don’t think I have ever been prouder to be an American than [I have been] in the last ten days,” Perry said. ” I know one thing — the world is watching. The world is watching to see how we will respond and I know that America will not cower. “

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