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Proclamation 6506—Vietnam Veterans Memorial 10th Anniversary Day, 1992

November 10, 1992

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

The more than 3,000,000 Americans who served our country during the war in Southeast Asia between 1960 and 1975 deserve, like all of our veterans, the lasting respect and gratitude of the Nation. From hundreds of nameless rice paddies and jungles to places such as Dak To, A Shau Valley, and Khe Sanh, these individuals and their fallen comrades endured extraordinary hardships and sacrifices in the effort to thwart communist expansionism in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam. Theirs was a long grueling struggle for freedom and international security, and however history may judge its execution and outcome, these individuals deserve a hero's recognition and thanks. Hence, we pause on this 10 anniversary of the Nation's Vietnam Veterans Memorial to offer a heartfelt salute to each of them.

While we usually think of walls as forms of division -- "something there is that doesn't love a wall," wrote Robert Frost -- the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one such structure that has fostered utility and healing among millions of Americans. In the decade since its construction and dedication, which were made possible entirely by private contributions, our Nation has come to peace with itself; and today we join together in honoring the more than 58,000 Americans whose names are inscribed on "the Wall." We remember their names because we cherished them as individuals -- as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, spouses, neighbors, and friends. We remember their names because each of them taught us important lessons about duty, courage, and love of country.

The lessons of the Vietnam War have, I believe, made the United States a better Nation, a stronger Nation. Just 2 years ago, the United States forces were called on to help liberate a small, defenseless country from the occupation of a ruthless dictator, the American people rallied behind our troops in a display of unity and resolve not seen since the days of World War II. The triumphant homecoming of our Persian Gulf veterans was, in many ways, a second homecoming for our Vietnam veterans, as hundreds of communities also offered a special salute to those who were all too often denied a hero's welcome some 25 years ago.

Today, as they commemorate the 10th anniversary of our Nation's memorial to their fallen comrades, Vietnam veterans stand proud -- and rightfully so. Let all of us join them in remembering those of their comrades who never made it home -- those who fell in the line of duty and those who are still missing. The United States has never forgotten our POWs/MIAs, and we remain fully committed to obtaining the fullest possible accounting for each of them. On this occasion we offer a special salute to their brave families, who have kept faith with America's missing service members and civilians and, in so doing, reminded us of the tremendous debt that we owe to our Vietnam veterans.

In honor of the Americans who served in Indochina and in grateful tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of liberty, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 318, has designated November 13, 1992, as "Vietnam Veterans Memorial 10th Anniversary 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 urge all Americans to join in observing November 13, 1992, as a special day in honor of our Nation's Vietnam veterans and their fallen comrades.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of November, 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 6506—Vietnam Veterans Memorial 10th Anniversary Day, 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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