Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 104 Part 6.djvu/898
104 STAT. 5288 PROCLAMATION 6141--MAY 24, 1990 Proclamation 6141 of May 24, 1990 Memorial Day, 1990 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Each year, we pause on Memorial Day to remember those individuals who have given their lives in defense of our Nation and the ideals for which it stands. For many Americans, this day recalls poignant memories of loved ones lost in battle. For others, this day is a time to give thanks for unknown heroes, for brave and selfless strangers who were willing to put themselves in harm's way for our sake and for the sake of freedom-loving peoples around the world. All of us, whether we gather in public ceremony or quietly place flowers on a single grave, are united on this day by our solemn pride and heartfelt gratitude—and by our prayers for real and lasting peace among nations. On this Memorial Day, we are especially mindful of recent social and political changes in Central and Eastern Europe, in Asia and Africa, and in our own hemisphere. The triimiph of democratic ideals in countries that once suffered under the heavy yoke of totalitarianism is a tribute to all those Americans who have died to uphold the light of liberty and self-government. Nearly half a century ago, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a gentle admonition to the American people when he observed that "Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." It is too soon for us to forget those Americans who were killed during Operation Just Cause in Panama and during recent communist attacks in the Philippines; their loss is a fresh and powerful reminder that peace and freedom are precious blessings and that preserving these blessings requires eternal vigilance and imfailing moral resolve. Yet today we also remember those Americans who made their final stand for freedom in more remote times and places—during the dark days of world war, in the extreme climes of Korea and Vietnam, in Beirut, Grenada, and in the Persian Gulf. Each time we recall the courage and patriotism of these individuals, each time we rededicate ourselves to the ideals they so fervently cherished and defended, we help to ensure that they did not die in vain. Like the hallowed veterans we honor today, all of us are both heirs to and guardians of the blessings of liberty. Thus, on this Memorial Day, let us pray for God's continued favor on this great Nation. Let us also pray for His strength and guidance in our efforts to advance the ideals of liberty and justice around the world. As this day so forcefully reminds us, respect for individual dignity and human rights provides the only sure foundation for true and lasting peace among nations. In respect and recognition of those Americans to whom we pay tribute today, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer.