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Proclamation 6141—Memorial Day, 1990

May 24, 1990

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Each year, we pause on Memorial Day to remember those individuals who have given their lives in defense of our Nation and the ideals for which it stands. For many Americans, this day recalls poignant memories of loved ones lost in battle. For others, this day is a time to give thanks for unknown heroes, for brave and selfless strangers who were willing to put themselves in harm's way for our sake and for the sake of freedom-loving peoples around the world. All of us, whether we gather in public ceremony or quietly place flowers on a single grave, are united on this day by our solemn pride and heartfeld gratitude -- and by our prayers for real and lasting peace among nations.

On this Memorial Day, we are especially mindful of recent social and political changes in Central and Eastern Europe, in Asia and Africa, and in our own hemisphere. The triumph of democratic ideals in countries that once suffered under the heavy yoke of totalitarianism is a tribute to all those Americans who have died to uphold the light of liberty and self-government.

Nearly half a century ago, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a gentle admonition to the American people when he observed that "Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." It is too soon for us to forget those Americans who were killed during Operation Just Cause in Panama and during recent communist attacks in the Philippines; their loss is a fresh and powerful reminder that peace and freedom are precious blessings and that preserving these blessings requires eternal vigilance and unfailing moral resolve.

Yet today we also remember those Americans who made their final stand for freedom in more remote times and places -- durign the dark days of world war, in the extreme climes of Korea and Vietnam, in Beirut, Grenada, and in the Persian Gulf. Each time we recall the courage and patriotism of these individuals, each time we rededicate ourselves to the ideals they are fervently cherished and defended, we help to ensure that they did not die in vain.

Like the hallowed veterans we honor doay, all of us are both heirs to and guardians of the blessings of liberty. Thus, on this Memorial Day, let us pray for God's continued favor on this great Nation. Let s also pray for His strength and guidance in our efforts to advance the ideals of liberty and justice around the world. As this day so forcefully reminds us, respect for individual dignity and human rights provides the only sure foundation for true and lasting peace among nations.

In respect and recognition of those Americans to whom we pay tribute today, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved on May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has requested 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 designating 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 28, 1990, 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 prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.

I also request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the apropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flow at half-staff until noon during this Memorial Day on all buidlings, 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 for the customary forenoon period.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States of American the two hundred and fourteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6141—Memorial Day, 1990 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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