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story.lead_photo.caption Bill and Hillary Clinton sit on stage during a dedication ceremony for the Little Rock airport named after them. ( Gavin Lesnick)

Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton were on hand Friday for the formal dedication of the Little Rock airport renamed last year in their honor.

Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is the only such facility in the country named after a president and a first lady.

A ceremony, which features the Clintons, Gov. Mike Beebe, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and more, drew hundreds of people to an airplane hangar adjacent to the airport grounds.

Those officials and others addressed the crowd first before Beebe introduced Hillary Clinton. She recounted flying into the airport for the first time and being met by her future husband, who gave her a tour of Arkansas.

She described that trip and other memories involving the airport that now bears her name, including serving as its commission attorney and flying out again years later for Bill Clinton's inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Bill and Hillary Clinton help dedicate airport renaming

Bill and Hillary Clinton returned to Little Rock Friday for the formal dedication of the Little Rock airport renamed after them. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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"This is a very profoundly deep honor for me to be here for the naming of this airport that has played such a role in my life," Hillary Clinton said shortly before introducing her husband.

Bill Clinton, too, described his memories of the airport, saying he remembers flying out of it as a college student entering a world of opportunity but with an intention to "come home again."

"The airport is a metaphor,' he said. "It lets us fly and it brings America and the world to us ... The whole idea behind our ability to take flight from this airport is we'll go and learn and be fascinated and create wealth and opportunity or be enriched in some other way. But we can always come home. We don't have to give up our roots. We don't have to give up our identity or who we are."

It began with selections by the Philander Smith College choir. The Clintons and other officials took the stage shortly after noon.

The event was originally scheduled to be held outside the airport, which is also using the occasion to mark the completion of a $67 million first phase of the an ongoing renovation project. But rain and cold moved the festivities inside to a large Hawker Beechcraft hangar on the grounds.

The Clintons, and other dignitaries in attendance, were expected to tour the renovated space immediately after the ceremony.

The airport board voted unanimously in March 2012 to rename Little Rock National Airport after both Clintons.

For more on the dedication ceremony, see Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.


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Archived Comments

  • FreddyUgo
    May 3, 2013 at 8:57 p.m.

    God am I glad I didn't move to Arkansas based on the comments on this website. You people wouldn't be known for...crap... if it weren't for the Clintons. Oh wait, Walmart. You hate gub'ment but all your hands held out for welfare in one form or another (subsidies, Medicaid, Social Security, disability, food stamps, school lunches, on and on and on...). Pathetic.

  • T6
    May 3, 2013 at 9:17 p.m.

    And Ready Freddy you would be from what state? By golly, I thought ALL states had their hands held out for welfare in one form or another (subsidies, Medicaid, Social Security, disability, food stamps, school lunches, on and on and on...).

  • djigoo
    May 3, 2013 at 9:18 p.m.

    Bill and Hillary make me proud to be an Arkansawyer.

  • RaylanGivens
    May 3, 2013 at 9:23 p.m.

    Congrats Freddy; you have made one of the top 5 dumbest posts in the history of the Net. Please tell us how Medicaid and SS are welfare when everyone pays in during their working careers. With your Ugo name it brings back memories of a joke about Yugos. You know how to double the value of a Yugo? Fill the gas tank. You know how to double the value of FreddieUgo? Fill him with Pabst Blue Ribbon. I guess your value doubles every morning, then quadruples by 5 PM.

  • CaptBob
    May 3, 2013 at 10:30 p.m.

    Typical elitist liberal view that Social Security is welfare. Guess what, grasshopper ?
    All tax paying workers in this country, including our fine state, pay into SS their entire working lives. Maybe you should use your obvious superior educational skills to open a dictionary . If ignorance is bliss, you must be deliriously happy .

  • NoCrossNoCrown
    May 4, 2013 at 1:44 a.m.

    If you have to spent your time posting negative comment of this kind of story, what kind of life do you really have.... most of them so stoopid, it's a wonder they can even use a computer and the internets......

  • TimberTopper
    May 4, 2013 at 6:10 a.m.

    Unlike most of those that have posted here, I'd like to thank the Clintons for all they have done for the people of the world. They've touched lives and have helped those needing that help. Thank you, to two special people!

  • T6
    May 4, 2013 at 9:25 a.m.

    TimberTopper........MONEY was the number ONE motivation for the Clintons...

  • doyoucare15
    May 4, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.

    Mike Huckabee, who was he? Oh yeah, he was some sort of big politician from Arkansas, lost weight, wrote a book, run for another job of big, big politican, gained back that weight, got a TV show, moved to Florida (left Arkansas)- ( could Florida's lower tax rate enticed Huckabee?) Anyway built that million (s) dollar home, Oh and still quotes The Bible from time to time, when the purpose serves to his benefit. I would bet Arkansas and all it's Citizens are still the dearest thing to his heart. Ain't he wonderful?

  • TimberTopper
    May 4, 2013 at 1:34 p.m.

    T6 is that your humble and unbaised opinion, or the words of a person envious when measuring your own lifes accomplishments against theirs?