THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
GOLD STAR MOTHER'S DAY, 1996
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Of all the many bonds between one human and another, the love of a mother for her children touches the deepest chords of passion and selfless devotion. A mother willingly gives her affection, her work, and her spirit to prepare her children to go forth into the world and make their own way. Few of us can appreciate the strength of this tie more keenly than a mother whose son or daughter has died while serving our country.
Every Gold Star Mother has lived through this tragedy. She has experienced firsthand the shock of having a child taken away abruptly, at the brink of achieving his or her promise for fulfillment; she has suffered the terrible realization that years of love, nurturing, and teaching have been lost in a seemingly random event; and, ultimately, she has faced the need to rededicate her life in a way that will give continued meaning to the precious memory of her child's existence on earth.
Instead of withdrawing into the privacy of their anguish, these courageous women channel their grief into constructive service, memorializing their children by living lives dedicated to helping others. Gold Star Mothers do this not for personal gain, but in the hope of making our world a better place.
Whether comforting a disabled veteran in a VA hospital, counseling the family of a recently fallen member of our Armed Forces, or working for a community volunteer group, America's Gold Star Mothers make a real difference to those in need. They also serve our national community by fostering and promoting patriotism and respect for our Nation, our flag, and our men and women in uniform. Their unselfish leadership helps strengthen communities and sets an example for people across our country.
As we honor America's Gold Star Mothers and observe this special day, we also pray for them and for their families, that they may find peace and reconciliation in the knowledge that their work keeps alive the noble spirit of their sons and daughters. Having lost their most precious gift -- their children -- they deserve no less than our eternal gratitude.
In recognition of the outstanding courage of our Gold Star Mothers, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 115 of June 23, 1936 (49 Stat. 1895), has designated the last Sunday in September as "Gold Star Mother's Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, September 29, 1996, as Gold Star Mother's Day. I call upon all government officials to display the United States flag on government buildings on this solemn day. I additionally urge the American people to display the flag and to hold appropriate meetings in their homes, places of worship, or other suitable places, as public expression of the sympathy and the respect that our Nation holds for its Gold Star Mothers.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of September, 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 twenty-first.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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