Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Proclamation 3880—Veterans Day, 1968

October 23, 1968

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Fifty years ago this fall, on November 11, 1918, America and her allies won a great victory after hard and cruel combat. That Armistice Day half a century past ended history's first World War, and struck in the world's hearts the hope of enduring peace.

After little more than a generation, that fragile hope was extinguished in the flames of World War II. And hardly had its guns been stilled when another conflict—in Korea—revealed in anguish that aggression could threaten the community of men in 1950 no less than in 1917 or 1941.

Today, Pershing's young doughboys are living in the golden years of their retirement. The warriors of World War II and Korea are slipping into middle age. A thousand battlefields, stretching in time and place from Chateau-Thierry to the slopes of Suribachi to the streets of Seoul are consecrated ground, where Americans fought—and many fell—to defy aggression, to preserve freedom, to protect the security of their people.

Now America's sons are waging that same bitter fight anew. They stand on alien land, as their fathers and their grandfathers stood before them, to deny aggression its hope of conquest, to keep freedom from dying under an invader's heel, to give us all the priceless right to live secure and safe. They are trained and equipped better than any American force before them. But their stand is no less harsh and lonely. Their courage and their spirit are the equal of any generation's. And their sacrifices, in our name and in the cause of all we cherish, are as hard as men have ever made on the battlefields of war.

We provide material benefits to the veterans of all our wars. We have continually extended and improved those benefits to meet more fully the debt we owe them.

But each year we also pause to pay them another kind of tribute. In our prayers and thoughts and ceremonies, we honor the men to whom we owe our safety, our freedom, and the continued existence of our Nation. For this purpose, Congress has designated the eleventh of November as a legal holiday to be known as Veterans Day, and has dedicated it to the cause of world peace (Act of May 13, 1938, 52 Stat. 351, as amended (5 U.S.C. 6103)).

Now, Therefore, I, Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the United States of America, urge the people of this nation to join in commemorating Monday, November 11, 1968, as Veterans Day with suitable observances.

I direct the appropriate officials of the Government to arrange for the display of the flag of the United States on all public buildings on that day; and I request the officials of Federal, State, and local governments, and civic and patriotic organizations, to give their enthusiastic leadership and support to appropriate public ceremonies throughout the nation.

I ask that all citizens of every age take part in these observances which honor those whose unqualified loyalty and patriotism have preserved our freedom.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 23rd day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-third.

Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson


Lyndon B. Johnson, Proclamation 3880—Veterans Day, 1968 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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