citizens and carry out the letter of our laws after the war, the sacrifices of soldiers, sailors, Marines, abolitionists, and countless other Americans would bring a renewed significance to the liberties established by our Founders. When the guns fell silent and the fate of our Nation was secured, blue and gray would unite under one flag and the institution of slavery would be forever abolished from our land.
As a result of the sacrifice of millions, we would extend the promise and freedom enshrined in our Constitution to all Americans. Through the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, we would prohibit slavery and indentured servitude, establish equal protection under the law, and extend the right to vote to former slaves. We would reach for a more perfect Union together as Americans, bound by the collective threads of history and our common hopes for the future.
We are the United States of America—we have been tested, we have repaired our Union, and we have emerged stronger. As we respond to the critical challenges of our time, let us do so as adherents to the enduring values of our founding and stakeholders in the promise of a shared tomorrow.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 12, 2011, as the first day of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. I call upon all Americans to observe this Sesquicentennial with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that honor the legacy of freedom and unity that the Civil War bestowed upon our Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
Proclamation 8655 of April 14, 2011
Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., 2011
By the President of the United States of America
The future of our Nation depends on our ability to instill in future generations the values that will help them write the next proud chapter of the American story—a dedication to knowledge and a sense of compassion for their fellow citizens. As we celebrate Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., we recommit to preparing our sons and daughters to thrive with principle and purpose in the 21st century.
Over the next decade, nearly half of all new jobs will require advanced training or a college degree. Ensuring our children meet this standard will take the collective commitment of parents, teachers, and communities coming together to instill a love of learning in our young people. By doing so, we can unlock every child's potential and give them the chance to fulfill