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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 29, 1994




Fifty-three years ago, the quiet of a Sunday morning was shattered by a surprise attack against units of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. After the attack, more than 2,400 Americans were dead or missing, including 68 civilians. Another 1,000 people were wounded.

December 7, 1941, marked the beginning of America's involvement in World War II -- a war that fundamentally reshaped the international geopolitical landscape, as well as the economic, political, and cultural institutions of our Nation. It involved America in a worldwide battle against the forces of fascism and oppression. It ended forever our country's isolation from world events.

Those Americans who remember World War II have a profound responsibility: to pass on the lessons of that conflict to the generations that have followed. Never again can America be unprepared, or permit an aggressor to threaten our vital interests, or isolate itself from events of global significance. America must be a leader in the continuing struggle for lasting peace. As President John F. Kennedy affirmed:

     Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill,
     that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any
     hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order
     to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

     During World War II, more than 400,000 Americans made the

ultimate sacrifice to ensure the continued survival of our Nation and the precious gift of peace. On this day, we give thanks to the noble veterans of World War II for the priceless liberty they helped to secure. For them, for their children, and for all the inheritors of democracy, we must remain ever vigilant in the defense of freedom.

The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, has designated December 7, 1994, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 1994, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I urge all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in honor of the Americans who served at Pearl Harbor. I also ask all Federal departments and agencies, organizations, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on this day in honor of those Americans who died as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of November, 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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