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Proclamation 5979—Trauma Awareness Month, 1989

May 15, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Every American is a potential trauma victim. By any measure -- whether we consider its economic costs or the unfathomable price paid in lost and broken lives -- traumatic injury constitutes a major public health problem. Each year, more than 150,000 Americans lose their lives to traumatic injuries; many others are severely or permanently disabled by them. Traumatic injury is the leading cause of death of people under 40 years of age.

Deaths due to traumatic injury claim the hope and promise of more young lives than cancer and heart disease combined. The elderly, too, are at high risk from hip fracture and other types of injury. In addition to the personal tragedy to individuals, traumatic injuries constitute one of our Nation's most expensive public health problems.

Traumatic injury at any age is tragic and unnecessary. Most of these tragedies are preventable. We need to educate all Americans, beginning with the young people in our Nation's schools, about traumatic injuries and how they occur. We need to make our citizens aware of the ways to prevent dangerous situations that can lead to traumatic injury. All Americans should also learn about the actions that can be taken to reduce the severity of these injuries through improved emergency medical services, trauma care, and rehabilitation.

By combining the efforts of individual citizens, health care professionals, researchers, business and industry, voluntary agencies, and government officials, the toll of traumatic injury and subsequent losses can be reduced.

To enhance public awareness of traumatic injury, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 68, has designated the month of May 1989 to be "National Trauma Awareness Month" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 1989 as "National Trauma Awareness Month." I urge the people of the United States, their government agencies, health care providers, and schools to take an active part in preventing traumatic injuries by learning more about the traumatic injury problem. I also urge all Americans to support private and public efforts to prevent traumatic injuries and provide high-quality treatment for those that do occur. We can do this by supporting research into new ways to prevent and treat traumatic injuries and by helping the victims of traumatic injuries to recover from the physical, emotional, and financial burdens they inflict.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 5979—Trauma Awareness Month, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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