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Inside The George W. Bush Presidential Center

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The first thing visitors to the George W. Bush Presidential Library will see is a statue of both former President Bushes, George W. and George H-W Bush.

Next comes Freedom Hall, which sports a three-walled LED TV that magically turns the stone walls into video presentations.

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There are also displays of gifts given to the White House during those eight years.

The initial stage highlights Mr. Bush’s early life and first optimistic months of his administration.

Then visitors will notice the tribute to 9-11, including one of the most emotional exhibits, a beam from the World Trade Center. It’s a hands-on exhibit, people are encouraged to touch it a relive that moment share its misery. Names of those who died have a place of honor on the exhibit’s walls.

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“Here we remember the heartbreak and the heroism of September 11th and the bravery of those who answered the call to defend our country,” said Former First Lady Laura Bush at the dedication ceremony.

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The bullhorn Mr. Bush used at Ground Zero is also on display.

Exhibits dedicated to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars follow, including interactive maps and the gun Saddam Hussein had when captured.

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Much of the museum is designed for touch and feel.  There is even a replica Oval Office where Americans can sit and weigh the decision-making of the most powerful and demanding job in the world.

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“This is a beautiful library. The exhibits are great,” said Former President Bill Clinton.

The interactive Decision Theater, is one of Former President Clinton’s favorite parts of the museum.  In that area, people can take in facts of any event as they were known at the time and make their own “presidential” decisions.

It’s anticipated 400-thousand visitors a year will use the library and its museum.  It opens to the public on May 1.

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