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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 10, 1997
                   NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION WEEK, 1997
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                             A PROCLAMATION

The United States has the finest, safest transportation system in the world -- superior highways and waterways, railroads, pipelines, and airports. This system unites a diverse Nation, provides economic opportunity, and enhances our quality of life by giving our citizens almost unrestricted mobility.

As we approach the 21st century, we must maintain the strength and reliability of this transportation system. The globalization of our economy demands more efficient shipping if we are to remain competitive. The growth in passenger traffic spurred by an expanding economy requires new and better ways of enabling people to travel safely and conveniently. In an unpredictable world, our transportation system must be able to quickly move military and other equipment, humanitarian supplies, and people to meet the demands of emergencies and natural disasters throughout the world.

All levels of government and industry are working together to ensure that our transportation system will continue to meet these challenges in the years to come. We must also continue to address the need for a cleaner environment and for sustainable communities, and we must ensure that transportation is available for people with special needs. This effort will require new technologies, advanced materials, improved operating practices and logistical systems, and other innovations.

We must also strive to educate our youth in technology and transportation issues. The Department of Transportation has launched the Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program to pursue this important goal through math, science, and technology literacy programs, private-public education partnerships, and other initiatives. An African American, Garrett Morgan invented the traffic signal and is recognized as the father of our safe transportation technology program. He served as a model of public service and as a catalyst to enhance transportation education at all levels.

This week, Americans honor the men and women who, like Garrett Morgan, have done and are doing so much to design, build, operate, and ensure the safety of our transportation system. We salute them for their contributions to our Nation and for helping to ensure that our transportation system remains the best in the world.

In recognition of the millions of Americans who work every day to meet our transportation needs, the Congress, by joint resolution approved May 16, 1957 (36 U.S.C. 160), has designated the third Friday in May of each year as "National Defense Transportation Day" and, by joint resolution approved May 14, 1962 (36 U.S.C. 166), declared that the week in which that Friday falls be designated "National Transportation Week."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Friday, May 16, 1997, as National Defense Transportation Day and May 11 through May 17, 1997, as National Transportation Week. I urge all Americans to observe these occasions with appropriate ceremonies and activities, giving due recognition to the individuals and organizations that build, operate, safeguard, and maintain this country's modern transportation system.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.


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