THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release May 21, 1996
NATIONAL MARITIME DAY, 1996
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The men and women of the United States Merchant Marine stand prepared to help our Nation in times of crisis. Their outstanding professionalism and performance have been manifest throughout America's proud history, most recently in the Persian Gulf, Haiti, and Somalia. Today, these brave individuals continue to bring honor to the maritime community and to our country through their steadfast service to our troops in Bosnia.
Those working on and in support of U.S. vessels play another important role by strengthening our economy. Every day, merchant ships carry the Nation's domestic and foreign commerce, acting as an integral part of our seamless transportation system. Those aboard go to sea to move American goods and materials, to help provide aid and comfort to others around the world, and, when necessary, to defend our interests and to seek international peace.
The Maritime Security Program legislation currently before the Congress will preserve a strong sealift capability so that critical military cargoes can reach American troops and our allies abroad as they strive to fulfill their peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. It will protect American jobs and foster our efforts to expand international trade. In standing behind this important measure, we affirm our commitment to maintaining a strong U.S.-flag presence on the high seas for our continued national security and economic growth.
In recognition of the importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as "National Maritime Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its observance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 1996, as National Maritime Day. I urge all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs and by displaying the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of May, 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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