By the President of the United States of America
Americans will be fighting and dying in Vietnam this Memorial Day, 1966, in fulfillment of our commitment to freedom. Their sacrifice is part of an ancient legacy that begins with man's first act of transcendent courage, and that contains all that is noble and selfless in human character.
Our own liberty was won in struggle against tyranny. In two world wars and in Korea, brave Americans and their allies gave their lives that men might live and prosper in freedom.
We shall not forsake their sacrifice. We shall--because we must--persevere.
We are totally committed to defeat this aggression.
This nation has never left the field of battle in abject surrender of a cause for which it has fought.
We shall not do so now.
We shall see this through.
Yet as we protect freedom by courage in arms, we shall every day continue the search for an honorable peace.
It is tragic that young lives must be sacrificed, that great sums must be spent for the instruments of war, when the work of peace awaits man's accomplishment in every land. America today--as in past years--is prepared to join in that work with any nation whose devotion is to peace with its neighbors, and a better life for its people. Let the guns of aggression be silent, we say, that the sounds of the builders, of the planters, of the teachers, may be heard.
On this Memorial Day, as we honor the memory of brave men who have borne our colors in war, we pray to God for His mercy. We pray for the wisdom to find a way to end this struggle of nation against nation, of brother against brother. We pray that soon we may begin to build the only true memorial to man's valor in war--a sane and hopeful environment for the generations to Come.
The Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period during each such day when the people of the United States might unite in such supplication:
Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 1966, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at eleven o'clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in such prayer.
I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.
I also urge all of the people of this Nation to join me in prayer to the Almighty for the safety of our Nation's sons and daughters in Vietnam, for His blessing on those who have sacrificed their lives for this Nation in this and all other struggles, and for His aid in building a world where freedom and justice prevail, and where all men live in friendship, understanding, and peace.
By House Concurrent Resolution 587, the Eighty-ninth Congress has officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day began one hundred years ago in Waterloo, New York. In conformity with the request contained in that concurrent resolution, it is my privilege to call attention to the centennial observance of Memorial Day in Waterloo, New York, on May 30, 1966.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-sixth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninetieth.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
By the President:
Secretary of State