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TODAY   |  April 26, 2013

All living presidents attend Bush library opening

It is a rare occasion that brings every living president to the same place at the same time. Yesterday it occurred for the dedication of the new George W. Bush Presidential Center. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> president obama along with the four living former presidents together for the dedication of the george w. bush presidential center. nbc's janet shamlian is there this morning. janet, good morning to you.

>> savannah, good morning. remarkable event. politics put on hold at least for the day. president bush was moved to tears, this was a rare reunion of these leaders. all five living presidents at the dedication of the george w. bush presidential center.

>> when all the living former presidents are together, it's also a special day for our democracy. we've been called the world's most exclusive club, and we do have a pretty nice clubhouse.

>> reporter: joined by the first lady, politics took the day off. barack obama and barbara bush talking up a storm and bill clinton joking about being a member of the bush family .

>> my mother told me not to talk too long today. and barbara, i will not let you down. and you beat me to being a grandfather and i congratulate you and laura for it.

>> reporter: laura bush spoke of compassion.

>> i remember his quiet visits with the family of the fallen, sharing their stories, and their tears.

>> reporter: for the first president bush , seriously ill last year, it was something of a coming out.

>> this is very special for barbara and me.

>> reporter: speaking just briefly, mr. bush stood and waved to a crowd already on its feet. the elder bush sporting his classic socks. bill clinton even tweeting out a behind the scenes moment on a day set aside to honor george w. bush .

>> there was a time in my life when i wasn't likely to be found at a library, much less found one.

>> reporter: reflecting on too often turbulent terms, the president and his family watching from the front row became choked with emotion.

>> whatever challenges come before us, i will always believe our nation's best days lie ahead. god bless .

>> reporter: in addition to the emotion, there was also some humor in the day, president clinton gently teasing that these libraries were a way for former presidents to rewrite their lester, back to you.

>> before the ceremony matt sat