WATCH: President Obama Speech at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

WATCH: President Obama Speech at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

President Obama Speech at Smithsonian National Museum

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FULL: President Obama Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (9/24/16)

President Obama Praises Both Protest and Patriotism at Smithsonian African-American Museum Opening

President Obama, President George W. Bush, First Lady Michelle Obama, former First Lady Laura W. Bush, and others speak at the opening ceremony of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Sometimes a hug is all it takes: Michelle embraces George W Bush as President Obama opens up the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History with a rousing call for unity

President Barack Obama praised the coexistence of “protest and love of country” on Saturday during the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, an occasion marked by reflections on the current racial tensions across the country.

“This is the place to understand how protest and love of country don’t merely coexist but inform each other, how men can proudly win the gold for their country but still insist on raising a black-gloved fist, how we can wear an ‘I can’t breathe’ T-shirt and still grieve for fallen police officers,” Obama said, addressing thousands of visitors who had gathered on the National Mall for the ribbon cutting ceremony, the culmination of a century of work aimed at commemorating the contributions of African Americans.

Obama wiped a tear from his cheek as he spoke about someday bringing a grandchild to tour National Mall, viewing the Lincoln Memorial as well as the new museum.

“It is in this embrace of truth, as best as we can know it, in the celebration of the entire American experience, where real patriotism lies,” Obama said, referencing part of President George W. Bush’s speech. “It is an act of patriotism to understand where we’ve been, and this museum tells the story of so many patriots.”