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Proclamation 5980—National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1989

May 16, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Americans are the most mobile people in the world, and we are understandably proud of our transportation system. It is one of our greatest achievements and most valued assets, conveying each of us and virtually every item of our commerce.

The steaming piston, the whirring turbine, and the spinning wheel of the high-speed train are familiar symbols of this indispensible support of our daily activities. New symbols join the list every year, such as the "pillar of fire" of the space shuttle or the promise of the magnetic levitation train. From covered wagons and the Erie Canal to jumbo jets and superhighways, the network of roads, air routes, and waterways that constitute America's transportation system has increased our productivity, spurred our economic growth, and logistically strengthened our national defense. Our transportation system provides the arteries we need to work with America's allies in ensuring our common security and enables us to deploy and supply our forces overseas.

With the growth of our transportation needs have come new demands and challenges, but the transportation industry has continued working to meet them, promoting the development of a more reliable, convenient, and efficient transportation system.

There has also been a growing awareness of the need for transportation safety. Americans are working together to eliminate the menace of drunk and drugged driving; communities are promoting education programs and more stringent laws designed to improve transportation safety; and judges are getting tougher when dealing with offenders. The Government and private sector are united in these efforts to reduce fatalities and accident rates to the lowest levels in history. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women who dedicate themselves to saving lives and preventing injuries.

In recognition of the importance of transportation and of the millions of Americans who serve and supply our transportation needs, the Congress, by joint resolution approved May 16, 1957, has requested that the third Friday in May of each year be designated as "National Defense Transportation Day," and by joint resolution approved May 14, 1962, that the week in which that Friday falls be proclaimed "National Transportation Week."

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Friday, May 19, 1989, as National Defense Transportation Day and the week beginning May 14, 1989, as National Transportation Week. I urge all our people to observe these occasions with appropriate ceremonies that will give full recognition to the citizens and organizations who maintain our great modern transportation system and with it all its many benefits for domestic life and the national defense.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand sixteenth this 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 5980—National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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