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National Archives

Public Papers - 1992

Remarks on Presenting Congressional Gold Medals to General Colin Powell and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf


Let me just say this is a very brief but, in my view, significant presentation ceremony. But in April of 1991, the laws were passed authorizing me as President to present gold medals on behalf of the Congress to Generals Powell and Schwarzkopf. The medals were designed and struck by the U.S. Mint to commemorate their exemplary service in liberating the nation of Kuwait pursuant to those United Nations resolutions. And the mint is also producing duplicates of these medals, bronze duplicates, for public sale.

I'm just delighted to be here. I salute the Members of Congress who are with us today, who had an awful lot to do with making this happen.

So we'll start by a presentation to General Schwarzkopf who was, as we know, commander in chief of the United States Central Command. He valiantly directed the United States and coalition in the Operation Desert Storm. And the U.S. and coalition forces under his command met the objectives that we established to counter ruthless aggression and to free Kuwait. He led the men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States in a magnificent achievement in United States military history.

I will now ask the commander to read the citation.

[At this point, the gold medal was presented to General Schwarzkopf.]

They tell me you're not supposed to touch it except with a glove. Congratulations, well-deserved honor.

Then General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He displayed an extraordinary degree of leadership, competence, professionalism throughout Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. General Powell and his subordinates brilliantly planned and coordinated the rapid mobilization, the deployment of more than one-half million men and women of the Armed Forces to the Persian Gulf. And that resulted in the successful prosecution of the Persian Gulf war. And Congress fittingly honors General Powell.

[At this point, the gold medal was presented to General Powell.]

Note: The President spoke at 4:04 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. Lt. Comdr. Wayne E. Justice, USCG, Coast Guard Aide to the President, read the citations.

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