Richard Nixon photo

Proclamation 3985—Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1970

May 20, 1970

By the President of the United States Of America

A Proclamation

On Memorial Day we honor our war dead—not only for the sacrifices they made, but for the nation they helped to build and preserve by that sacrifice. We honor them most by remembering what it was they died for—not for glory, not for conquest, but for those concepts that bind a people together in nationhood—and brotherhood.

It is not enough to express our gratitude to the heroic dead by thought and prayer and with special reverence on Memorial Day. A more fitting memorial would be the creation of a peaceful world, free of the destructive conflicts that have plagued man's history.

We must, therefore, as individuals and as a nation, continue the difficult quest for tranquility among all peoples and the reasoned solution of our differences. Mindful of this, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each May 30, 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, Richard Nixon, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Saturday, May 30, 1970, 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 such prayer.

I urge the press, radio, television and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.

As a special mark of respect for those Americans who have given their lives in the tragic struggle in Vietnam, I direct that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff all day on Memorial Day, instead of during the customary forenoon period, on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels of the Federal government throughout the United States and all areas under its jurisdiction and control.

I also request the Governors of the States and of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the appropriate officials of all local units of government to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on all public buildings during that entire day, and request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the same period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred ninety-fourth.

Signature of Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon, Proclamation 3985—Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1970 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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