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Proclamation 5985—Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1989

May 22, 1989

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

On Memorial Day, we pause to remember and to pray for those Americans who died while defending the prace and freedom we enjoy every day of the year. On this day, we recall with solemn pride the places where these departed heroes made their final stand for the cause of human rights and individual liberty -- the Argonne, Omaha Beach, Pork Chop Hill, and a hundred rice paddies and jungles in Vietnam.

We also recall the heroes who have perished in more recent times, such as the soldiers who liberated Grenada and the Marines who fell to terrorist attacks in Beirut and other cities around the world. With the tragic loss still fresh in our minds, we remember the men of turret number two aboard the USS IOWA, the six sailors on the USS WHITE PLAINS, and the two crewmen on the USS AMERICA who were recently killed in the line of duty. Like the brave and selfless Americans who have gone before them, these young men were willing to put themselves in harm's way to protect our national security.

Across the country, Americans are participating in special ceremonies or pausing privately to pray for those who died while serving this great Nation. Some of us had close personal ties to the men and women we honor today; all of us are bound to them by a lasting debt of gratitude.

Today, we continue the Memorial Day tradition of expressing our appreciation for the veterans who died for a cause they considered more important than life itself. They did not serve in order to die; they served so that others might dwell in freedom. These veterans defended the lives of innocent people and helped to preserve a way of life -- one that cherishes and protects the God-given rights of all. Their time on earth was well spent.

On Memorial Day, we give thanks for the great blessings of freedom and peace and for the generations of Americans who have won them for us. We also pray for the same strength and moral resolve demonstrated by these hallowed veterans, as well as for the true and lasting peace found in a world where liberty and justice prevail.

In respect and recognition of those Americans to whom we pay tribut today, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has request the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designation a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, May 29, 1989, as a day or 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 prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.

I also direct all appropriate Federal officials and request the Governors of the several States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon during this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control, and I request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on this day for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set may hand this twenty-second 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 5985—Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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