MOUNT AIRY, Md. -- World AIDS Day is a day of hope and a day of sadness, U.S. President George Bush said Friday during a faith-based, round-table discussion.
Bush also called upon Congress to renew the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and double the amount of funding from $15 billion over five years to $30 billion.
Turning to recognize others who attended the discussion at Calvary United Methodist Church in Mount Airy, Md., Bush called them "powerful examples of the human spirit" who "share the timeless calling of healing the sick and comforting the lonely."
World AIDS Day, which is Saturday, is sad because "we remember all those lost to AIDS and mourn their lives cut short," Bush said. But it also is a day marked with hope "for the improving prospects of those living with the virus."
When asking Congress to renew the act and increase its funding, Bush said, "I am confident they will."
Starting Friday, a large, red AIDS ribbon will be displayed for two days on the North Portico of the White House " to represent America's commitment to this struggle," Bush said in a Proclamation recognizing Saturday as World AIDS Day.
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