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Proclamation 5242—World War I Aces and Aviators Day, 1984

October 03, 1984

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Ever since the Revolutionary War, Americans have heroically served their country in times of conflict. World War I, "the war to end all wars," began over seventy years ago in August 1914. The war spawned a new breed of warrior, the aviator, who engaged in single combat high above the conflict on the ground. The truly remarkable Americans who pioneered in this new form of military combat defended the skies of Europe with valor and distinction until the end of the war in 1918.

Some of these aviators achieved the title "Ace" by gaining at least five confirmed victories over opponents in the air. As aviators capable of great concentration and decisive action, they possessed what today we would call "the right stuff." Among America's greatest World War I Aces, Eddie Rickenbacker, Frank Luke, Raoul Lufbery and George Vaughn shot down a total of 78 enemy aircraft.

There are about sixty known surviving Aces of World War I. They meet periodically to share memories of a conflict familiar to many Americans only through history books. All Americans should express their gratitude and respect for these gallant air warriors for their extraordinary feats in defense of liberty.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 333, has designated September 21, 1984, as "World War I Aces and Aviators Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 21, 1984 as World War I Aces and Aviators Day.

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this third day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5242—World War I Aces and Aviators Day, 1984 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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