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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 29, 2000


"As we contemplate the comforts and blessings of our lives and the well-being of our nation, I ask you to pause just for a moment to remember those who gave their lives to protect the values that give meaning to our lives."

                                                  President Bill Clinton
                                                  May 31, 1999

On Memorial Day, President Clinton will urge all Americans to participate in a National Moment of Remembrance to honor those who died in service to our nation. The Moment, which will occur at 3:00 p.m. local time, is intended to raise awareness and unite the nation in acknowledging the contributions made by the men and women who gave their lives for our country's freedom. The commemoration has been established as a presidential initiative and has been introduced in Congress as a joint resolution.

Putting the "Memorial" Back in Memorial Day. Like many national holidays, Memorial Day is frequently regarded as a day off rather than one to remember our nation's ideals and those who gave their lives to preserve them. In May 1996, the idea of a moment of remembrance was born when a group of school children touring the nation's capital was asked what Memorial Day meant to them and they responded, "That's the day the pools open!" Determined that those who died for our country not be forgotten, No Greater Love, a national humanitarian organization, began a campaign to designate a specific time on Memorial Day when Americans could stop and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. At 3:00 p.m. on the following Memorial Day, "Taps" was played on radio and television stations across the nation as Americans paused to remember those who gave their lives to the cause of freedom. Known as the National Moment of Remembrance, this nationwide observance has since been repeated every year, and this year President Clinton and Congress are joining together to endorse the commemoration.

Uniting Americans in Honor of our Fallen Heroes. Memorial Day was established as a national holiday in 1868 to pay tribute to those who died serving our country. The goal of the National Moment of Remembrance is to reclaim the holiday as the solemn event it was intended to be by:

Carrying On a Tradition of Remembrance. This year's National Moment of Remembrance will take place on Monday, May 29th for one minute, beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time - a time when most Americans will likely be making the most of the freedoms we enjoy. At that time, Americans around the world are urged to pause from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or to listen to "Taps", in tribute to those who died for our country. All federal departments and agencies will participate in the Moment of Remembrance and will encourage participation by state and local governments, organizations, trade unions, corporations, and individual citizens. The White House has established a website for more information on the National Moment of Remembrance at