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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 12, 1996




Our Nation benefits when every American child is truly valued and cherished. We have no greater responsibility or hope for our future than our children, and the promise of a better tomorrow depends upon the love, support, education, and encouragement that we give to each of them. It is up to all of us -- parents and families, schools, churches, and community organizations -- to join in the critical endeavor of putting the needs of our children first. Only when we reaffirm our commitment to our children's well-being can we truly say that we are prepared for the challenges that await us in the next century.

America is a country of many blessings -- a rich land, a thriving democracy, a diverse and determined people. Our culture is built on faith in freedom, and opportunity, and on the spirit of community. In a Nation of such infinite promise, too many of our children face great obstacles in reaching their full potential, and it is imperative that we not turn our backs on them.

Because safety, health, a clean environment, quality education, and economic security are the keys to a brighter future, they are necessary investments in the healthy growth and development of our children. Through measures such as expanding Head Start and child care, preserving Medicaid, enhancing child protection, protecting the environment, and increasing educational opportunity for all students, my Administration has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that every child has the tools to become a productive citizen.

As we work together in a spirit of community, let us seek to instill confidence, hope, pride, and self-esteem in our young people. Because today's children are tomorrow's leaders, educators, and parents, all of us -- adults and children -- forever will benefit from this commitment.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 13, 1996, as National Children's Day. I urge all Americans to express their love and appreciation, not only on this day but also on all days, for their children and all of the children of this Nation. I invite Federal officials, State and local governments, and particularly the American family, to join in observing this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities to honor our Nation's children.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of October, 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.


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