By the President of the United States of America
In 1683, a small group of men, women, and children set out from their homes in Germany in search of religious freedom in the New World. These 13 families, who came ashore near Philadelphia more than 3 centuries ago, were the first of seven million German immigrants to come to this country. Today, almost 60 million Americans are the descendants of these brave and industrious people. Their proud ethnic heritage represents not only a great treasure passed to each generation, but also a rich source of strength and pride for the entire United States.
Throughout our Nation's history, German immigrants and their descendants have stood on the front lines in the defense of freedom. From the heroic efforts of General Friedrich von Steuben during the Revolutionary War to the courageous leadership of General Eisenhower during World War II, their courage and patriotism have been unquestionable. In times of peace, as well as times of strife, generations of German-Americans have faithfully upheld the principles upon which this Nation was founded.
Following the Second World War, the United States, together with its allies, helped to restore the conditions in which German democracy, guided by leaders such as Konrad Adenauer, could take root and flourish. Today, there can be no doubt that Europe is stronger -- and the world is safer -- because the Federal Republic of Germany is free, sovereign, and democratic.
While we proudly acknowledge our friendship with the people of the Federal Republic of Germany, we also note with sadness that many Germans continue to be denied the right to self-determination. The United States thus remains firmly committed to promoting freedom and democratic government in all of Germany and all of Eastern Europe. We will not waver in our efforts to foster respect for human rights throughout Eastern Europe; to advance political reform; and to eliminate the barriers that still divide Berlin.
Our great Nation is strong because we Americans are united by our common belief in individual liberty and the rule of law, as well as by faith and family ties. Today, as we celebrate the many contributions that Americans of German descent have made to our country, let us rededicate ourselves to promoting that same kind of unity in their ancestral homeland.
In honor of all German-Americans, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 118, has designated October 6, 1989, as "German-American Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that day.
Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 6, 1989, as German-American Day. I urge all Americans to learn more about the contributions German-Americans have made to the life and culture of the United States and to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourteenth.