By the President of the United States of America
This day was originally set aside to honor the dead in a conflict that divided our Nation more than a century ago. That wound has healed.
We come now also to honor the dead of many other wars. That we must do so is a tragic reminder that the freedoms we cherish are constantly under siege. Each generation is called upon to preserve and defend our liberties anew, often with their lives. The fact that their suffering has not yet bought a permanent peace does not make their sacrifice in vain. They preserved that which we hold most dear so that we might strive again for what they sought?a just and honorable peace in which all people settle their differences without bloodshed or oppression.
Today America celebrates peace. We gratefully remember those who gave up their hopes and lives that we might enjoy the liberties they loved?on this day and through all our tomorrows?in peace. We cannot call them back to give them our thanks, nor can we raise a monument to them any more meaningful than the one they have already left us, a free and peaceful America. They have given us a gift too valuable ever to repay, save by preserving that peace, that liberty, that America.
We have seen how easily the hopes of peace are dashed. Yet we must keep faith with those who have gone before, with those throughout the world who share our dream, and with the generations yet unborn whose very existence may depend upon the success of our efforts.
We earnestly pray that all the people of the world will join us in our struggle, so that one day all the earth may share the blessings of liberty, justice and peace.
Now, Therefore, I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 1979, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 o'clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in prayer.
I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to join in suitable observances of this day.
I also call upon the appropriate officials of all levels of government to fly the flag at half-staff until noon during Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control, and I request the people of the United States to display the flag at halfstaff from their homes for the same customary forenoon period.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.