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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 17, 1996


Armed Forces Day, 1996

For forty-seven years, Armed Forces Day has been celebrated by the citizens of our great nation in recognition of our faith in America's men and women in uniform. This year's theme, "America's Armed Forces: Pillars of Freedom," is a testament to the quiet strength and steadfast resolve with which you, the members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, uphold the standards of liberty around the world.

Day in and day out, under demanding and often perilous circumstances, you put your skills, your energy, and your very lives on the line in the service of your nation and your fellow citizens. Whether advancing peace in Bosnia, protecting democracy in Haiti, offering humanitarian aid to those in need, or remaining vigilant to the threats of tyrants and terrorists, you have set a shining example of service for all Americans, inspiring our young people and fulfilling our trust in you.

As Commander in Chief, I am proud that you are the best- trained, best-equipped, and best-led fighting force in the world. But we cannot rest on this record. On this Armed Forces Day, we must rededicate ourselves to keeping the U.S. military strong and confident -- sustaining these true pillars that support freedom throughout the world.

I salute you for your courage and dedication in serving your country's cause, wherever and whenever you are called upon to do so, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I thank you for what you have done and continue to do to keep America strong and free.

Best wishes for a memorable observance.