By the President of the United States of America
When we count our blessings, most of us note with special gratitude the love and the support of our families. Thus, it is fitting that our celebration of National Family Week coincide with our traditional observance of Thanksgiving.
Family love brings light and warmth to our homes; it gives us strength when times are tough; and it makes good times even better by enabling us to share our joys with others. Through our experience as part of a family, we gain a sense of identity and purpose. Indeed, when we recall the generations who have gone before us, we are reminded of our personal links to the past and of our own place in history. When we think about generations to come, we are reminded of our obligation to help make this a better world.
Our ability to help make this a better world depends, in large part, on the kind of environment we create in our homes. Because a child's family life has such a powerful influence on the development of his or her personality and character, and because the family provides a model after which all other human relationships are fashioned, those of us who are parents and grandparents must ensure that the examples we set are positive ones. The daily course of our family lives should offer younger generations clear lessons about faith and duty, personal responsibility, and respect and concern for others.
By definition, a family is a group of individuals who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption and who are united by their love and their lifelong commitment to one another. The family is the basic unit of society, and its well-being is vital to the success of our communities and Nation. In recent years, however, problems such as crime, drug abuse, child abuse, and teenage pregnancy have signalled a breakdown in traditional family life and values. While parents have primary responsibility for the well-being of their children, and while no arm of the state can replicate the divinely ordained embrace of the family, government can and should help preserve and support this institution and do nothing to harm it. America's future depends on it.
This week, as we acknowledge the blessings of family life and the importance of stable, loving families to the life of our Nation, let us reaffirm our commitment to policies and programs that affirm the rights of parents and protect the interests of children. Let us also resolve to ensure that our own families are communities in which each member is respected and cherished.
The Congress, by Public Law 102—112, has designated the weeks beginning November 24, 1991, and November 22, 1992, as "National Family 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 of November 24 through November 30, 1991, and the week of November 22 through November 28, 1992, as National Family Week. I call upon all Americans to observe these weeks with appropriate programs and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of November, 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, 11:39 a.m., November 21, 1991]