THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
NATIONAL FAMILY WEEK, 1997
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
As we approach the end of the 21st century, our world is becoming increasingly complex, our society more mobile, and our pace of life more rapid. It is at times like this, full of dynamic challenge and change, that we need to remember the fundamental values and institutions that strengthen and uplift us. Among the most precious of these are our families.
Families come in many forms and sizes. They can number several generations or only one; they can include birth parents and stepparents, foster children and adopted children. Families are created by ties of blood or law, but they are sustained by ties of love and caring.
Few people in our lives will have so profound an effect on us as our family members. From the day we are born, the people who live with us, nurture us, and guide us play a crucial role in shaping the kind of men and women we become. They challenge us to look beyond ourselves and to respect and care for others. At their best, they help us to be our best. Families are the most basic -- and the most important -- unit of our society.
Recognizing this, we realize that many of our dreams for America begin with strong families. We want to be a caring people, and the lessons of tolerance, sharing, and compassion are best taught in the home. We want to be a peaceful people, and we look to families to teach our young people how to respect one another's differences and resolve disputes without resorting to violence. We want to be wise people, so we need families that value education and acknowledge the importance of lifelong learning.
Nothing is more important to our future than preserving and promoting strong, loving families. This week, as we gather with our own families to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us resolve to do all we can as individuals, and as a Nation to help families who are in need, to provide support and encouragement for troubled families, and to promote policies at the local, State, and Federal level that will help America's families to flourish.
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 23 through November 29, 1997, as National Family Week. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to honor American families with appropriate programs and activities; I encourage educators, community organizations, and religious leaders to celebrate the strength and values we draw from family relationships; and I urge all the people of the United States to reaffirm their family ties and to reach out to others in friendship and goodwill.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of November, 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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