WE ARE HERE tonight to salute the eyes and cars of our Free Nation-the men and women of our Free Press. We are here to dedicate a living memorial to those members of the Fourth Estate who. have given their lives, in war and in peace, in pursuit of truth--the key to freedom.
Through many years, I have had good reason to count the Press Corps as a vital arm of the forces of freedom. In war, I saw its members strive tirelessly, endure hardship, dare battlefield peril that our people might be fully and quickly informed; on every front, they were worthy comrades of our fighting men. Now, as President, I find that each emphasizes anew for me the fairness, the discernment, the dedication of the American reporter; in peace, he is still a valiant warrior for the truth that makes men free.
In establishing a Memorial Press Center in New York City, one of the great crossroads of communications, members of the Overseas Press Club, their fallow journalists and the American public remember the men and women who died in the service of a Free Press, as they would want to be remembered.
In the unending struggle to maintain our freedom, the American reporter is ever in the front line. For as long as faith and knowledge endure, freedom is certain to survive.