View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 19, 1993




America's children are at once our most precious national resource and our most weighty responsibility. They represent our future hopes and aspirations. By empowering and supporting America's families today, we can make a more secure world for all Americans tomorrow.

Millions of America's children grow up in stable and loving families. At the same time, an alarmingly high number of our youth do not have the benefit of such security; many grow up hungry, neglected, or abused. Far too many reach adolescence having experienced painful episodes of physical, mental, or emotional mistreatment that have long-lasting effects. For them, the future can be clouded with doubt or despair.

We all must take it upon ourselves to address these problems and to guarantee that children of all families will be given new hope for a better life. We must get back to "being our neighbor's keeper" when it comes to raising children. The plight of our neighborhoods and communities must be rectified and replaced with a positive environment in which to grow and live in safety. Today's children are frightened and worried. We must close the opportunity gap and the responsibility gap because all of the children of America deserve an equal chance.

Parents must make an all-out effort to provide an accepting, caring, and loving atmosphere for their children. Grandparents also have an important role to play, as do other members of the extended family.

This is an issue that all Americans can and should support and promote. By becoming directly involved and assuming personal responsibility, we can strengthen our schools, churches, and communities in ways that will reinforce and enhance the importance of values that the family structure can provide. This is all the more critical as the world becomes an increasingly complex and interrelated place. We must interact in the future with any number of new and emerging nations. In order to do this successfully, we will need the talent, dedication, and best efforts of all of our youth.

Today's children will also be tomorrow's parents. To preserve the American Dream, the fiber of our Nation must be strengthened. By instilling a common purpose and assuring ourselves that children are receiving the best and most comprehensive care possible, we can face the awesome challenges that lie ahead. We can start at the family level to bring our country together, solve problems, and make progress.

So I ask all Americans to reaffirm this Nation's commitment to its children. I appeal specifically to parents to spend quality time each day with their children, to listen to their concerns and dreams, and to guide them well as they make the transition into adolescence and adulthood. We have a right and an obligation to make sure our children can rise as far and as high as their talents and determination will let them.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 139, has designated the third Sunday in November as "National Children's Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 21, 1993, as National Children's Day. On this day and every day, I urge all Americans to express their love, advocacy, and appreciation for their children and all children of the world. I invite Federal officials, State and local governments, and particularly the American family, to join together in observing this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities to honor our Nation's children.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighteenth.