Obama fetes George HW Bush at White House

FILE - In this April 25, 2013, file photo President Barack Obama, left, applauds, as former first lady Barbara Bush, second from left, and former President George W. Bush right, help former President George H.W. Bush stand to acknowledge a standing ovation during the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. The first President Bush is coming to the White House on Monday, July 15, 2013, for a ceremony Obama is holding to recognize the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award, which Bush created more than two decades ago while in office to honor volunteer service. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. is a better and stronger force for good in the world thanks to the tradition of volunteerism nurtured by former President George H.W. Bush.

Obama says Bush's efforts in the White House and beyond sparked a national movement. He says the U.S. is kinder and gentler thanks to Bush.

Obama says the tradition may seem ordinary, but actually represents tremendous process. He says because of the Republican former president, community service has become a prevalent part of American life.

Obama spoke Monday at a White House ceremony recognizing the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award, granted to a retired couple that created a nonprofit to feed hungry children in 15 countries. Bush created the award more than two decades ago to honor volunteer service.