Public Papers - 1991
Proclamation 6345 -- Veterans Day, 1991
By the President of the United States
Memory is the first measure of gratitude -- those who are truly grateful do not forget the service that has been rendered for their sake. Each November we Americans remember in a special way the veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Through their vigilance, courage, and sacrifice, these individuals have helped to secure the freedoms that we so enjoy today -- the freedoms that we can sometimes, all too easily, take for granted.
Since President Woodrow Wilson asked that all Americans pause on November 11, 1919, in honor of the Nation's war heroes, Americans have set aside this date to remember and pray for all those patriots who have put themselves in harm's way to defend the lives and liberty of others. As we salute our Nation's veterans, we also remember with solemn pride their fallen comrades, including those heroes who rest ``in honored glory . . . known but to God.''
There is no irony in the fact that we honor this country's war veterans on the anniversary of Armistice Day, a day dedicated to peace. As was the case during Operation Desert Storm, members of the U.S. military have engaged in armed conflict only as a last resort, only to defend freedom and the rule of law. And we know that these ideals form the only sure foundation for lasting peace among nations.
America's veterans have faced the hellish fires of combat and the chilling presence of mortal danger so that our children and our children's children might dwell in a safer, more peaceful world. The freedom of millions of people around the globe is, in many ways, a living monument to each of them.
Today thousands of veterans continue to serve our Nation through their families and their communities, helping others to appreciate more fully the value of freedom and the importance of patriotism. These contributions we also remember with thankfulness and pride.
Of course, while memory is the first measure of gratitude, its fullest and most meaningful expression is found in word and deed. We can never repay our veterans for all that they have endured for our sake, but we can show by our actions -- on this day and every day of the year -- that their great sacrifices are indeed cherished and remembered. Whether we do so on our own or through our schools, businesses, and community organizations, let us convey our thanks to veterans through acts of generosity and kindness. Let us demonstrate, in a special way, our respect and concern for those former service members who are hospitalized or disabled.
In order that we may pay due tribute to those who have served in our Armed Forces, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America's veterans.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Monday, November 11, 1991, as Veterans Day. I urge all Americans to honor our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I also call on Federal, State, and local government officials to display the flag of the United States and to encourage and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, churches, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with suitable commemorative expressions and programs.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of October, 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, 9:18 a.m., October 4, 1991]
Note: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register on October 7.