President and Mrs. Meany, members of the Cabinet, members of the AFL-CIO Council, presidents of the AFL-CIO unions, and all of our guests tonight on this Labor Day occasion:
This is a very special evening in the history of the White House, the first occasion on which this kind of a party has been held on Labor Day.
And we thought that on this evening, where the members of the staffs, the families of those of the American labor union could be present, that nothing could be more appropriate than the kind of program that we have planned. It is a program in which the organization, which is called the President's Own Honor Guard--it is called the Old Guard, as a matter of fact, but it is the President's Own Honor Guard--the 1st Battalion of the Third Infantry Army Division, presents a program in which they depict the whole sweep of American history from the beginning and the whole story of the American flag.
I think this is appropriate, because as I look over the history of this country from the beginning, there has certainly been no group of people in this country that has more strongly supported the concept of freedom, a free America, an America playing its role in the world, for freedom every place in the world than the free labor movement of America. And we are very proud to have them represented here tonight.
And now you will have the opportunity to see what some of us have had a chance to see during the Cherry Blossom Festival at Fort Myer. When I saw it there earlier this year, I asked General Westmoreland why it couldn't be taken around the country. He said, "We can't do that." I asked him, "Could you bring it to the White House one day?" He said yes. This is the day. Now you will get to see it, too.