Public Papers - 1991
Proclamation 6371 -- National Women Veterans Recognition Week, 1991
By the President of the United States
Earlier this year, some 35,000 American service women played highly visible roles in ensuring the success of our military operations in the Persian Gulf. While we celebrate their outstanding contributions -- and those of their counterparts here at home and at bases around the world -- we do well to remember that women have been an invaluable part of the United States Armed Forces for generations.
Since the earliest days of our Republic, women have written many important pages in American military history, often accepting great risks and sacrifices for the sake of others. During the Revolutionary War and later during the Civil War, thousands of women provided compassionate aid to sick and wounded soldiers. Many other women served as scouts and couriers, and a number of historical accounts relate the stories of women who disguised themselves as men in order to join in the fighting. During the Spanish American War, women nurses waged a valiant battle against an epidemic of typhoid fever in Army camps. Their work so impressed the Congress that it established the Nurses Corps as a permanent auxiliary of the Army. By World War I, the Navy and the Coast Guard were also accepting women volunteers.
When World War II required the total commitment of this Nation's will and resources, women achieved full military status in the Women's Army Corps and in the Navy's WAVES. The Coast Guard and the Marines followed suit in accepting women enlistees, and the Women's Air Force Service Pilots was formed to ferry military aircraft.
During the half century since World War II, women have continued to be an invaluable part of our Nation's armed forces. From Korea and Vietnam to places such as Panama and the Persian Gulf, American service women have consistently demonstrated the extraordinary courage, patriotism, and skill that we have come to expect of this country's military personnel. Some have been wounded, and others have made the ultimate sacrifice, in the line of duty.
Over the years, the number of women in our armed forces has steadily increased. Today nearly one and one quarter million women stand among our Nation's veterans. This week, we proudly and gratefully salute each of them.
In recognition of the many contributions that women veterans have made to our country, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 145, has designated the week beginning November 10, 1991, as ``National Women Veterans Recognition 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 10 through November 16, 1991, as National Women Veterans Recognition Week. I urge all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth 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, 2:51 p.m., November 12, 1991]
Note: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register on November 14.