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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 27, 1994




Each year, we set aside November 11 to honor the men and women who have served in our Nation's Armed Forces. Their stories are not only of past glory and current sacrifice; their lasting contributions are to our future as well. Their deeds and dedication assure us and the generations to come that America's great promise of freedom and happiness will endure and flourish.

Fifty years ago on this day, American forces of World War II were pushing the enemy back across the European continent, liberating hundreds of thousands along the way. These heroic Americans fought to win the peace, not just for themselves and for their Nation, but for oppressed millions in many lands.

The world has changed tremendously since then. Today, the international role of the United States has evolved from peacemaker to peacekeeper. And still we call upon our Armed Forces to serve our Nation and to defend the cause of freedom everywhere. Our men and women in uniform understand that the ideals of democracy and self-determination are larger than any single nation. The blood of Americans spilled on battlefields from Normandy to Korea to Vietnam and the vigilant defense of freedom throughout the Cold War have taught us a lasting lesson: America can only rest secure when every individual knows liberty and all nations live at peace.

It is an extraordinary person who is willing to step in harm's way to protect others. Our Nation has always been blessed with an abundance of such men and women. We owe our veterans an inestimable debt of gratitude. On this day, we recognize how much they have done, and are doing, to make a better, safer tomorrow for all of us.

In order that we may pay due tribute to those who have served in our Armed Forces, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103 (a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America's veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Friday, November 11, 1994, as "Veterans Day." I urge all Americans to honor the resolution and commitment of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials to display the flag of the United States and to encourage and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with suitable commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.


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