By the President of the United States of America
There is nothing more devastating to a family than the death of a child. Each year, thousands of America's families face this tragedy, losing their children to illness, injury, or accident. Our whole society experiences this loss as well, for we are all diminished by the death of every one of our young people, whose love, laughter, talents, and achievements bring so much joy to our lives and so much promise to our future.
The holiday season is an especially painful time for parents who have lost a child, so it is fitting that we set aside a special day during this month to acknowledge the grief of these families and to pay tribute to the lives and memories of their children. On National Children's Memorial Day, let us all reach out, whether as individuals or as members of caring communities, to offer bereaved families the compassion, support, and understanding they need to begin the process of healing.
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 December 13, 1998, as National Children's Memorial Day. I call upon the American people to observe this day with appropriate programs and activities in remembrance of the infants, children, teenagers, and young adults who have died and to bring comfort to their families.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-third.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 8:45 a.m., December 14, 1998]