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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 24, 1995




During both war and peace, America's armed forces have helped to preserve the fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed by our Constitution. Every day, our men and women in uniform maintain an around-the-clock vigil to ensure that our Nation remains safe from harm and our citizens free from fear. Their sacrifices, and the dedication to duty exemplified by American troops throughout our history, have advanced democracy and human dignity around the world.

For generations, brave citizens from every walk of life have answered the call to service, fighting to defend the ideals we hold dear. Through long years of separation and hardship, the selfless contributions made by our veterans have preserved the blessings of freedom. As we honor their heroism, let us also remember the families whose support and prayers have added so much. We owe a heartfelt thanks to all those whose devoted efforts -- both on the battlefield and in communities across the country -- have laid the strong foundation of peace and security we enjoy today.

On this 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, we take special pride in recognizing those who served the United States during that terrible conflict -- the 16,535,000 men and women who risked their lives to defeat oppression. The ensuing half-century has brought momentous changes in global affairs, and the generation of veterans who triumphed over tyranny continues to hold a sacred place in our national memory.

Veterans of other wars throughout our Nation's history merit no less distinction. There are some 27 million veterans in America today whose service ranges from World War I, through the Cold War, to the Persian Gulf War and our other recent military missions around the globe. Thanks to their loyalty and courage, this country remains a symbol of hope for all those who seek democracy and peace. On Veterans Day and on every day throughout the year, let us remember and honor the sacrifices of our veterans and renew our commitment to accounting for their comrades-in-arms who have fallen, unknown and unrecovered, in distant fields of battle.

In order that we may pay 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 day to recognize America's veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Saturday, November 11, 1995, 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 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-fourth day of October, 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 twentieth.


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