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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 24, 1998




Parents play a central role in the life of our society and our Nation. They are a link with the past, teaching our children the history and values of our individual families and of our national community. They are the stewards of the future, shaping the hearts and minds of the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and workers.

Being a good parent means much more than protecting our children from harm. It means teaching our children how to love and how to learn; it means working to give them the opportunities they need to make the most of their lives; it means fostering their self-esteem and independent spirit so they can make their own contributions to our world. Being a parent is a challenge, a privilege, and a lifelong commitment.

My Administration has worked hard to help parents raise happy, healthy children. With the Family and Medical Leave Act, we gave working parents up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a family member in need. We protected family incomes through an increase in the minimum wage, expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the new Child Tax Credit. We stood up for reliable health insurance with the Kennedy-Kassebaum law and improved childhood immunization, with our new Children's Health Insurance Program. We opened the doors of higher education to more families by making student loans less expensive and easier to repay and by providing new tax credits and larger Pell Grant scholarships. We have proposed an historic initiative to ensure that parents have access to quality, affordable child care for their children. I pledge to continue supporting these types of effective programs and legislation so that America's parents have the tools they need to give their children a strong start in life.

Too often in the rush of daily existence, we fail to remember or acknowledge the many blessings we enjoy because of the love of our parents. On Parents' Day, we have an opportunity to express our profound appreciation to our own parents, to remember with love and gratitude those who are no longer with us, and to pay tribute to the millions of men and women across our Nation whose devotion as parents strengthens our society and forms the foundation of a bright future for America.

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 and consistent with Public Law 103-362, do hereby proclaim Sunday, July 26, 1998, as Parents' Day. I invite the States, communities, and the people of the United States to join together in observing this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities to honor our Nation's parents.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-third.


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