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Proclamation 6553—National Day of Prayer, 1993

April 30, 1993

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

The American people were the first to define a nation in terms of both spirituality and human liberty. Throughout our Nation's history, America has been a beacon for millions in search of spiritual and religious freedom. Immigrants have come to the United States seeking not just freedom from persecution and discrimination, but also freedom for the right of selfdetermination. On this National Day of Prayer, we reaffirm this fundamental freedom of religion that has made our Nation so strong.

Thomas Jefferson understood the greater purpose of the liberty that our Founding Fathers sought during the creation of our Nation. Although it was against the British that the colonists fought for political rights, the true source of the rights of man was clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson wrote that all humans are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights . . . ." It was self-evident to him that denying these rights was wrong and that he and others must struggle to win what was theirs.

The epic struggle of the Revolutionary War and the vigilance that the protection of our rights has required have embedded in our Nation a profound understanding of the true meaning and value of our freedom. With the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness comes the duty to use those rights for the good of humankind. This belief is fundamental to the American tradition. The result of our Founding Fathers' conception of a state created by man through the responsible use of God-given rights is a Nation of unparalleled freedom and dazzling diversity.

Today we face great challenges. The diversity that gives us so much strength is often seen as a source of division. We are searching for solutions to the difficult challenges of providing a safe and rewarding future for our children, of securing adequate health care for our people, and of building good, nurturing communities.

Through prayer our people take a moment away from the concerns of everyday life to understand the greater power that gives us guidance. We come together in an act common to all religions. Prayer gives us a quiet space to remember and contemplate the greater purpose of the activity that fills our lives. As a Nation, we understand the common bonds we all share, and we recommit ourselves to serving a greater good. Prayer enables us to rejoice in our freedoms and understand the implicit responsibility that accompanies them. We return to the guiding vision that gives our Nation so much vitality.

By joint resolution of the Congress, approved April 17, 1952, the people have recognized the role of spiritual reaffirmation and prayer in our history by setting aside a particular day each year as a "National Day of Prayer." Since 1952, each President has proclaimed an annual National Day of Prayer, resuming the tradition begun by our Founding Fathers in 1776. By Public Law 100-307, the first Thursday in May of each year has been set aside as a National Day of Prayer.

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 6, 1993, as a National Day of Prayer. I call upon the citizens of this great Nation to pray, each after his or her own manner, to remember those who are in need, to achieve patience in tribulation, to resolve the problems that divide us, to rejoice in hope, and to express thanks for the abundance we have experienced throughout our history.

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

Signature of William J. Clinton


William J. Clinton, Proclamation 6553—National Day of Prayer, 1993 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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