THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
NATIONAL FORMER PRISONER OF WAR RECOGNITION DAY, 1995
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the centuries since our Nation was founded, our citizens have been called on time and again to defend the blessings of American democracy. Although the enemies of freedom have often risen from distant shores, the valiant men and women who wear our Nation's uniform have made freedom's fight their own. From Europe to the Pacific, Korea to the Persian Gulf, these Americans and their families have suffered through the darkest hours of humanity so that the cause of human dignity might endure.
It is in gratitude that we pause each year to recall the courage and to honor the service of the sons and daughters of America who have been held as prisoners of war. Few words can express the depth of their sacrifice or the worthiness of their mission. Often subjected to extreme brutality in violation of international codes and customs governing their treatment, many of our people have come home with disabling wounds and injuries. Too many of our people have not come home at all.
Today, the lives of these extraordinary Americans and the stories of their indomitable spirits are at the core of our national character. The citizens of the United States will always remember the proud individuals who traded their liberty to preserve our own. We will build on the triumphs of democracy that they have helped to ensure. And in speaking of their bravery, we will tell our children and grandchildren that though bodies may be imprisoned, hearts can remain ever free.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 9, 1995, as "National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day." I urge State and local officials, private organizations, and U.S. citizens everywhere to join in honoring the members of the United States Armed Forces who have been held as prisoners of war. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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