Proclamation 5399

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By the President of the United States
of America
A Proclamation

America's families are America's greatest strength. Just as American society is more than the sum of its parts, families are more than just collections of individuals.

It is within the family that we first gain an understanding of who we are; that we learn to give and receive love; that we learn to respect the individuality of others; that we grow to be strong, healthy adults able to take our place in the larger families of community, country, and the world. Through the family we pass on our traditions, our rituals, and our values. From our families we receive the love, encouragement, and education needed to meet life's challenges. Family life also provides a stimulus for the spiritual growth that fosters probity of character, generosity of spirit, and responsible citizenship.

It is important that we dedicate ourselves to the promotion of strong families for, with their strength, commitment, and loyalty, they form the hearth and heart of our national life. As an eminent American educator has wisely observed: "The security and elevation of the family and of family life are the prime objects of civilization, and the ultimate ends of all industry." Special concern is due to troubled families, for we recognize that any chain is only as strong as its weakest link. At their best, strong families are small communities of love. Let us help them prosper.

National Family Week gives us a chance to honor all families and especially to honor those Americans who have extended the love and support of their families to a child through adoption or foster care. By giving the shelter of their loving arms to such a child on a temporary or permanent basis, these Americans demonstrate in a special way the unconditional love that only families can provide.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 31, has designated the week of November 24 through 30, 1985, as "National Family Week" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of November 24 through November 30, 1985, as National Family Week. I invite the Governors of the several states, the chief officials of local governments, the leaders in industry, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving Week, I also invite all Americans to give thanks for the many blessings that they have derived from their family relationships and to reflect upon the importance of maintaining strong families.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

RONALD REAGAN

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:11 p.m., October 28, 1985]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).