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Proclamation 6490—National Children's Day, 1992

October 09, 1992

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Every child is a tremendous blessing in his or her own right, a person of unlimited worth and unique potential. Together, however, America's children constitute our most precious national resource. Their future and the future of the United States depend on our efforts to ensure that every child receives the material, emotional, and spiritual support that he or she needs to become a healthy, well-adjusted, and responsible adult. On National Children's Day, as we honor America's youngest citizens, we renew our commitment to providing the best possible care and protection for each of them.

Clearly, the most important contribution that we can make to the well-being of America's children is to preserve and strengthen the family. Problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, violence, crime, and adolescent promiscuity -- all can be traced, in large part, to a breakdown in traditional family life and values. Statistics on poverty likewise bear tragic evidence of the impact of broken homes on children: today the poverty rate among families headed by married couples is 5.7 percent; among families where fathers are absent, the poverty rate is 33.4 percent -- more than five times higher. Such facts underscore the urgency of restoring traditional values in the United States and the stable, loving family life that they help foster.

While government must not and cannot fulfill the primary responsibility of parents in caring for their children, it can assist them in their vital task. During the past year, we have strengthened Federal child support enforcement efforts, achieving more than $6 billion in additional collections of support owed. With the help of Federal waivers, a number of States have launched reforms of welfare programs that are designed to promote parental responsibility and to help keep families intact. There exist numerous programs at the Federal, State, and local levels to assist dysfunctional families and families that are struggling through periods of unemployment, illness, and other challenges. Yet, we also know that millions of American families seek only the freedom and opportunities to thrive -- freedom from onerous tax burdens, freedom from cultural forces that undermine or belittle their most cherished beliefs, and opportunities to make real choices about education, child care, and housing.

Just as government must recognize and reinforce the family as the primary source of love and support that every child needs, each of us has a duty to address the challenges faced by youth and families today. Religious congregations, schools, and community organizations all have a role in maintaining an environment in which families can thrive and in which young people can enjoy the security of childhood while also learning about the meaning of love and responsibility -- and the difference between liberty and license. By working together in support of children and parents, we can strengthen and enrich our larger human family.

In honor of children and in recognition of the importance of their well-being to our communities and Nation, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 319, has designated the second Sunday in October of 1992 as "National Children's Day" and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Sunday, October 11, 1992, as National Children's Day. I call on all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs and activities in honor of children and in recognition of the importance of promoting their well-being through stable, loving family life.

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

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6490—National Children's Day, 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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