WEST POINT, N.Y. -- With attendees in the stand to cheer him on, Former President George W. Bush arrived at the United States. Military Academy at West Point to receive a prestigious award, but not before the award parade. The Corp of Cadets is 4,400 strong as a way to welcome former President George W. Bush to West Point. 

The Thayer Award is given to an American who exemplifies West Point's motto of "duty, honor, country."

Bush is this year's recipient for his ongoing public policy work through the George W. Bush Institute, and his time as commander-in-chief after 9/11, creating the Department of Homeland Security, and efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power.  

"In the aftermath of those horrific attacks, our President George W. Bush, would rally us as a nation and lead us as we confronted a new kind of evil and threat. One that attacked us not for our land or our wealth, but because of our ideals and because of our freedom," said United States Military Academy at West Point Superintendent Lt. General Robert Caslen.  

And while the ceremony was to honor the former president, he didn't talk about himself so much as his pride in the military and optimism for the future. 

"Because I've looked into the faces of our future leaders. Men and women who will promote our Democratic values and our way of life, through their actions and example. Men and women who will live by the words duty, honor, and country. I'm honored to be in your midst, I am proud to receive the Thayer Award," said Thayer Award recipient George W. Bush.  

Bush is the fourth president to receive the honor, alongside Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Regan, and his father George H.W. Bush.