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Public Papers - 1989

Letter to Elementary School Students on Halloween

1989-10-24

Dear Students:

I know you are looking forward to a day coming soon that is one of the most fun -- Halloween. I'm inviting you to be among my special guests at the White House to celebrate this day. I promise you we'll have fun, but I want this Halloween to be about more than ghosts and goblins and scary things. While you're here, I am going to ask your help in ending something that unfortunately isn't make-believe -- it's frightening and real. It is the problem of drug abuse.

I hope you were able to watch when I spoke to the schoolchildren of America last month about the problem of drugs. During my television address, I told a story of a young boy and an old man who were walking along a beach. As they walked, the boy picked up each starfish he passed and threw them back into the sea. Confused, the old man asked him why.

``If I left them here,'' the boy said, ``they would dry up and die. I am saving their lives.''

``But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,'' the old man said. ``How can what you're doing make any difference?''

The boy looked at the starfish in his hand, threw it into the ocean, and answered, ``It makes a difference to this one.''

You can make a difference, too -- with your classmates, your friends, and your family -- by saying no to drugs.

I have given your teachers an anti-drug pledge card for you to read and sign. Please fill it out and bring it with you to the White House on Halloween. I look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely,

George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to the following elementary schools: Kemp Mill, Rolling Terrace, and Greenbelt in Maryland; Ashlawn, Patrick Henry, James K. Polk, Forestville, Potomac, and Vienna in Virginia; and Bancroft, Brookland, Harrison, and John W. Ross in the District of Columbia. The letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 30.

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