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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Honolulu, Hawaii)
For Immediate Release                                  September 2, 1995
                        REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                           AT STAMP UNVEILING
                           U.S.S. Carl Vinson
                          Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

THE PRESIDENT: Postmaster General Runyon, let me begin by thanking you for the outstanding job you have done in promoting this project. I have enjoyed very much participating with you in it.

Secretary Dalton, Secretary Brown, and distinguished military leaders who are here; Mrs. Howard and Mr. Carter, who assisted us in the unveiling, I am delighted to unveil this fifth and final set of stamps honoring the men and women who brought our nation victory in World War II.

Again, let me congratulate the Postal Service on producing these stamps. They will for a long time remind all of our people of the spirit that animated our triumph and the common cause that united us 50 years ago.

They also remind us that in World War II, as never before in our history up to that time, the many who make up our nation came together as one. Old divisions melted away as our people turned to the job of liberating the world, and then to the task of creating a better future at home.

We are fortunate to have with us today in this unveiling two individuals whose service exemplifies the best of this changed America that emerged from World War II, and the best of our changed military.

Herbert Carter was a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. He flew 77 combat missions over North Africa and Italy. He has a chestful of medals and a record of real bravery and achievement. His accomplishments and those of thousands of other African Americans who served our nation so valiantly helped to open the way to the day when all Americans will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

Rita Howard joined the Navy Nurse Corps in 1941. At war's end, she was serving on board of the hospital ship USS Refuge, mending the wounds and lifting the spirits of newly-freed POWs. Because of her and hundreds of thousands of women like her who wore the uniform, and millions more who helped build democracy's arsenal, the role of women in our nation was changed forever. And, I might add, the role of women in our military has been changed forever. Their achievements cleared the way for women to reach their full potential whether in boardrooms or on board bombers.

The generation that fought World War II came home and built America into the richest, freest nation in history. They returned to their towns and cities and built careers and communities. Some, like Herbert Carter and Rita Howard, remained in uniform, safeguarding our liberties and ensuring that tyranny never again threatened our shores. Together, they built a half a century of progress and security for which we must all be eternally grateful.

I hope all Americans will remember the debt they owe to Herbert Carter, to Rita Howard, to the millions of others they see embodied in these fine stamps. And I hope all of us will be inspired to carry forward their work of continuing to make our nation safe and strong and free.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

(The President is presented with the very first sheet of stamps.)