THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
LAW DAY, U.S.A., 1996
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
For more than three decades, we have set aside the first day of May to honor the role our legal system plays in maintaining our country's greatness, to celebrate the precious freedoms our citizens have enjoyed since America's beginnings, and to recognize the crucial role of the law in ensuring our security and prosperity. Today, as we confront the threats of domestic and international terrorism and the violence that plagues our neighborhoods and schools, it is more important than ever for Americans to understand the extraordinary legacy left to us by our Founders and to reaffirm the ideals of liberty, equality, and justice.
This year's theme, "The Constitution: The Original American Dream," underscores the centrality of this precious document in our national life. The doctrines set forth in our Constitution have made possible our progress and unparalleled history of freedom. Written more than 200 years ago, its measures were crafted by people who believed in individual rights and who understood that liberty must be the basis for our system of laws. As we approach a new century, we can be proud that our remarkable, dynamic Constitution, while reflecting the mores and culture of its time, continues to express America's profound commitment to human dignity.
We celebrate the Constitution as a model for other nations around the world, as the purest expression of American law, and as the ultimate authority for our statutes, judicial decisions, and Executive actions. But its power also depends on an informed, involved citizenry. Each of us must take personal responsibility for our actions and respect the rights of others. In homes, schools, neighborhoods, and businesses we must honor the rule of law and cherish the promise of equality and opportunity for all people. Every American must work to see that our Nation's legal system remains a model for the rest of the world and that future generations will continue to share its blessings.
On this day and throughout the year, let us consider the written instruments that have so profoundly shaped our experience and pay tribute to all those who enforce and maintain our legal and judicial systems -- including police officers, community policing volunteers, lawyers, and members of our independent judiciary. Their efforts help to ensure that Americans will always enjoy individual liberties and a just society.
(OVER) 2 NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the
United States of America, in accordance with Public Law 87-20 of April 7, 1961, do hereby proclaim May 1, 1996, as Law Day, U.S.A. I urge all Americans to recognize the rule of law as the basis for freedom in our democratic society and to learn more about the United States Constitution. I call upon members of the legal profession, civic associations, educators, librarians, public officials, and the media to promote the observance of this day with appropriate programs and activities. I also call upon public officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings throughout the day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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