Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 111 Part 3.djvu/755

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PROCLAMATION 6968-^AN. 20, 1997 111 STAT. 2843 Every citizen must rise to meet that challenge because America's promise of freedom and opportunity cannot truly be realized for any of us until it is realized for every one of us. We all have an obligation to reach out to one another—across the artificial barriers of race, gender, religion, class, and age—so that each member of our society shares fully in the promise of the American Dream. In the spring of 1963, Dr. King was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, while protesting discrimination in public accommodations and employment. From his jail cell, he wrote of his faith that ultimately what was good in America would prevail over fear and prejudice: We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with the destiny of America.... We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. As I begin my second term as the last President of the 20th century, I ask each American to work with me to usher in a new era of hope, reconciliation, and fellowship among all our people—rich and poor, young and old, and men and women of every race. I urge all Americans to put intolerance behind us, seek common ground, and strive for justice and community in our Nation. 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 Monday, January 20, 1997, as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this occasion with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of January, in the year of om* Lord nineteen hundred and ninety- seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first. WILLIAM J. CLINTON Proclamation 6968 of January 20, 1997 National Day of Hope and Renewal, 1997 By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Today as we celebrate the last Presidential Inauguration of the 20th century and raise our sights with hope and humility toward the challenges of a new age, let us together ask God's guidance and blessing. This day marks not a personal or political victory but the triumph of a free people who have freely chosen the course our country will take as we prepare for the 21st century. During the past 4 years, we have grown together as a people and as a Nation. Touched by tragedy, strengthened by achievement, exhila-