By the President of the United States
In 1950, while Americans were still enjoying a sense of pride and relief following the Allied victory in World War II, our Nation suddenly became engaged in another great struggle for freedom. On June 25 of that year, communist forces of the North launched a ruthless attack against the free Republic of Korea. The United Nations swiftly condemned the invasion and formed the UN Command to repel the aggressor. America's Armed Forces, many of whom had just served during World War II, joined with those of 17 other nations in the ensuing conflict. Forty years before the international effort to liberate Kuwait, these courageous individuals demonstrated the power of collective resolve in the face of lawless aggression.
Addressing the American troops serving in Korea, President Truman declared: "You will go down in history as the first army to fight under a flag of a world organization in the defense of human freedom . . . . Victory may be in your hands, but you are winning a greater thing than military victory, for you are vindicating the idea of freedom under international law." By the time a cease-fire was negotiated at Panmunjom on July 27, 1953, more than 54,000 American servicemen had died to defend the lives and liberty of others. Some 103,000 were wounded, and today 8,000 are still listed as missing in action. This week, we honor our Nation's Korean War veterans and remember in prayer those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice at places such as Inchon, the Pusan Perimeter, and the Chosin Reservoir.
Veterans of the Korean War can take pride in their legacy. These heroes and their fallen comrades not only helped to restore the freedom of South Korea but also won a decisive victory for the ideals of liberty and self-determination. Today there is hope for peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula, and in just a few months the Republic of Korea will take its rightful place as a member of the United Nations. These promising developments are a monument to each of the brave and selfless Americans and other UN forces who fought in Korea four decades ago for the sake of peace and freedom.
In grateful recognition of our Nation's Korean War veterans, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 255, has designated the week beginning July 21, 1991, as "Korean War Veterans Remembrance Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning July 21, 1991, as Korean War Veterans Remembrance Week. I urge all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in honor of the Nation's Korean War veterans. I also ask all Federal departments and agencies, organizations, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff on July 27, 1991, in honor of those Americans who died as a result of their service in Korea.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 1:21 p.m., July 24, 1991]