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Georgians Pay Nobel Tribute on 'Ironic Night'

ATLANTA....Friends, family, and dignitaries from across Georgia gathered here March 19 for a gala event at Atlanta Symphony Hall to honor former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and his wife, Rosalynn. The evening, which President Carter described as "an ironic night," began at 8 p.m.--the exact deadline issued for Saddam Hussein's exit from Iraq.

Speaking to the audience of 1,500, President Carter acknowledged the impending conflict in Iraq, saying: "The Carter Center has done everything we could to find a peaceful resolution to the Iraq crisis, and we were not successful. We support our troops and pray that the casualties for both our troops and innocent Iraqi civilians will be minimal. We are hoping for a quick resolution."

Speakers at the Atlanta ceremony included former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who served as President Carter's ambassador to the United Nations; Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot, and Douglas Daft, chairman of Coca-Cola Company.

The event also included musical tributes from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Spelman College Glee Club, and Harmony, Atlanta's International Youth Chorus.

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