Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3785—Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1967

May 22, 1967

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

In reverent tribute on this Memorial Day 1967 we salute the gallant men of our country who have served us and still serve us so nobly and selflessly in defense of freedom.

We can never repay their sacrifices. Our honored dead sleep in hallowed ground on five continents. The debt we owe them, and that our children will owe for generations to come, is beyond measure.

Today, our young men are fighting and dying in Vietnam so that other young men may stand as they have stood--proudly independent, free to determine their own destiny. Before their common sacrifice and dedication the barriers of race, color, or creed crumble. The heroism of a just cause makes all men brothers against tyranny.

Every President in time of armed conflict must act in the deep conviction that the cause for which our young men suffer and die transcends their sacrifices.

A century ago President Lincoln expressed his grief over the terrible losses of the war between the States. He pointed out that all deprecated war, all sought to avoid it, but as there were those who would make war, so there must be those who could accept war.

We have had to accept the war in Vietnam to redeem our pledge to those who have accepted in good faith our commitment to protect their right of free choice. Only in this way can we preserve our own right to act in freedom.

So we shall continue to resist the aggressor in Vietnam, as we must. But we continue to hold open the door to an honorable peace, as we must.

On this hallowed day, on behalf of the American people--indeed, on behalf of all of the people in the world--I repeat to the leaders of those whom we fight: Let us end this tragic waste; let us sit down together to chart the simple course to peace; let us together lead our peoples out of this bloody impasse.

And I ask you, my fellow Americans, to join me in prayer that the voice of reason and humanity will be heeded, that this tragic struggle can soon be brought to an end.

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 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, Tuesday, May 30, 1967, 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 around the world, 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.

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-second day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-first.

Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson


By the President:


Secretary of State

Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3785—Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1967 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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