President Bush yesterday likened the U.S. decision to go to war against Iraq to Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to enter World War II, saying the nation in both "defining moments" had entered a war "against the oldest enemy of the human spirit -- the evil that threatened world peace."

Bush, visiting the U.S. Capitol for the second time in two days, told a gathering of lawmakers that "no one knew better than President Roosevelt what hard work freedom really is." It was a theme Bush used Tuesday night in his State of the Union address when he emphasized the "burden of freedom" the United States bears.

Bush was at the Capitol yesterday for an observance of the 50th anniversary of Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech, an address in which FDR outlined four concepts -- freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear -- that defined individual liberty in America. Bush called that vision "a beacon drawing to these shores people from around the globe."

The White House yesterday said that for the first time this year Bush on Friday would take a trip outside the Washington area to visit three southern bases that deployed troops in the Persian Gulf region, Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock, N.C.; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C., and Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga.

In addition to making speeches, Bush is to meet privately with families of soldiers missing in action. Vice President Quayle last week made a similar day-long visit to military bases.

Bush, who has traveled more than any of his predecessors, will begin taking occasional day trips from which he can return to Washington quickly if need be, aides said. He is scheduled to go to New York next week for an economics address.