THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
NATIONAL EMPLOYER SUPPORT OF THE GUARD AND RESERVE WEEK, 1997
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As we approach this century's end, many of the blocs and barriers that divided the world for 50 years largely have fallen away. All around the world, with America's help, nations are moving from conflict to cooperation. However, we still face challenges that have taken on new and dangerous dimensions: ethnic and religious violence, aggression by outlaw states, the illegal drug trade, and threats from international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The National Guard and Reserve play a vital role in the response of America's Armed Forces to this broad spectrum of challenges to our national security, and they are an indispensable part of the effort to promote peace and democratic values.
While most Americans understand and deeply appreciate the strategic and military value of our National Guard and Reserve forces, too often we fail to recognize or acknowledge the important contributions of their civilian employers. When called upon to share their greatest resource -- employees serving as citizen-soldiers -- these employers subordinate their own interests for the good of our country, even when they may incur financial hardship and organizational disruption. It is only because of the willingness by employers to place our Nation's well-being above their own that our National Guard and Reserve are able to provide mission-ready and accessible forces to help preserve our freedom and protect our national interests. The generosity of these employers is key to enabling Reserve components to play an ever greater and more diverse role in our country's Armed Forces. By setting aside this special time to honor the sacrifice of our Nation's employers, we express our heartfelt appreciation to these patriots for employing our citizen-soldiers, making it possible for them to serve, and helping to keep America strong, secure, and free.
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 November 2 through November 8, 1997, as National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week. I encourage all Americans to join me in expressing our heartfelt thanks to the civilian employers of the members of our National Guard and Reserve for their extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our Nation. I also call upon State and local officials, private organizations, businesses, and all military commanders to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of October, 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-second.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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