Text of the resignation letter, dated Tuesday, from Commerce Secretary Don Evans to President Bush:

Dear Mr. President:

It has been a high honor and humbling experience to serve as the 34th Secretary of Commerce under your leadership. These past four years have brought great progress in strengthening America's national security and economic security, and advancing the global march to peace, prosperity, and freedom. Your leadership inspired our nation and the world to reach higher and to try harder to achieve goals beyond conventional expectations. While the United States will always face challenges, your stewardship of the highest office in the land has renewed the values and optimistic spirit that so characterize the American people as they turn challenges into opportunities in the 21st century.

As I have traveled across our nation and around the world, I have talked to, listened to, and made friends with others from all walks of life. One central message is clear: America remains for all mankind a beacon of freedom and a source of hope. I thank you for your clarity of purpose, your determination that we exercise our great responsibility to lead for the common good, and to leave this world better than we found it.

While the promise of your second term shines bright, I have concluded with deep regret that it is time for me to return home. It is a blessing to have served America with such an extraordinary leader and a true friend. With the fondest admiration, I respectfully request that you accept my resignation.

Along with my thanks, I wish you, your loved ones, and this nation rich blessings as we continue building a world our children and grandchildren will be proud to call home: a place of peace, prosperity, and freedom for all.

Warm personal regards,