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Proclamation 6299—Week for the National Observance of the 50th Anniversary of World War II

May 23, 1991

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

When the United States entered World War II half a century ago, it became engaged in a struggle for the fate of millions of people -- and for the future of freedom on Earth. During the period that commemorates the 50th anniversary of this conflict, we do well to study its lessons and to honor all of those Americans who helped to achieve the Allied victory.

Following America's entry into World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt declared that we fought to uphold the doctrine that all men are equal in the sight of God . . . . There never has been -- there never can be -- successful compromise between good and evil. Only total victory can reward the champions of tolerance and decency, freedom and faith.

That unwavering sense of purpose would characterize the actions of all Americans, both on the home front and on the field of battle, as they rallied to defend the cause of freedom.

President Roosevelt aptly described World War II as "the most tremendous undertaking in American history." In homes, schools, and churches across the Nation, on our farms and in our factories, citizens of every age and every walk of life labored and sacrificed to support the Allied military effort. From the Aleutian Islands to the Coral Sea, from the shores of northwest Africa to Anzio, Normandy, and the Rhineland, members of our Armed Forces braved the horrors of battle to defend the lives and liberty of others. Hundreds of thousands of these heroes gave "the last full measure of devotion" in service to our country, and we will never forget them.

Six long years after the war first began, the Allies secured the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. President Truman noted that the Allied triumph was more than a victory of arms. It was a victory of one way of life over another . . . . We know not that the basic proposition of the worth and dignity of man is not a sentimental aspiration or a vain hope or a piece of rhetoric.

Those words are still true today.

We live in a world transformed by World War II. The Allied victory affirmed America's leadership in global affairs, and it led to the formation of the United Nations as a vehicle for promoting international peace and security. Moreover, it contained what President Truman called a "promise to people everwhere who join us in the love of freedom" -- a promise that we have begun to see fulfilled with the emergence of democratic governments around the world and with the movement toward a Europe whole and free.

This week, let us remember in prayer all those heroes who gave their lives for the universal cause of freedom during World War II. Let us honor the World War II veterans who are with us today, especially the infirm and the hospitalized, and let us salute the millions of civilians who rallied in support of their efforts. Most important, let us resolve to learn from the past, so that we too might be faithful and effective guardians of liberty.

The Congress, by Public Law 101-491, has designated the week of June 2 through June 8, 1991, as a "Week for the National Observance of the 50th Anniversary of World War II" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of June 2 through June 8, 1991, as a Week for the National Observance of the 50th Anniversary of World War II. I call upon all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 23 day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6299—Week for the National Observance of the 50th Anniversary of World War II Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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