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Proclamation 6562—National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1993

May 19, 1993

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

As Americans, we take great pride in our fine transportation system. This system links our vast Nation in an intricate network of highways, waterways, bridges, and mass transit systems. Our transportation infrastructure strengthens America by bringing people and communities closer together, spurring trade and commerce, and strengthening our manufacturing and military power.

Our Nation's transportation system plays a vital role in our national defense, both in times of crisis and in peace. It has carried U.S. Armed Forces to many regions of the world; it has quickly and safely moved the materiels needed to protect our interests; and it has accelerated the delivery of supplies and personnel to thousands of hurricane victims in Florida and Louisiana.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways, begun in the 1950's, has served America's defense, business, and social needs extremely well in the last 50 years. As we enter the 21st century, we must find new, more cost-effective and efficient ways to travel and to transport goods in order to compete in the global economy. Our Nation must continue its commitment to technological and engineering excellence in order to ensure long-term military and industrial strength. At the same time, we recognize that a key challenge of our era is to harness technology to protect the health of our environment and our people. Technological breakthroughs can improve our quality of life, for example, by limiting airplane noise, increasing the speed of mass transit systems, or improving the reliability of tankers for oil transport. Transportation safety can improve dramatically with new technology and with concerted education efforts. American transportation, from airplanes to boats to school buses, already has a fine safety record, and we are making great progress. In 1992 the rate of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes declined to an all-time low, and safety belt use reached a high of 62 percent.

As we survey our infrastructure in the 1990's, it is clear that we face another crucial challenge: we must shift from the construction of basic transportation systems to the adaptation and modernization of existing ones. Rebuilding America's infrastructure is not just necessary for the health of our transportation system, it is also essential to the long-term vitality of our economy. The condition of our infrastructure directly affects the speed of our commerce, the exuberance of our cities, and the mobility of our rural citizens and industries. Rebuilding our infrastructure can create jobs, improve our quality of life, spur technological development, and fuel long-term economic growth. A strong partnership between the public and private sector and the continued support of our research institutions are vital in this effort.

This week we honor the men and women who build, maintain, and ensure the safety of our transportation system--from the person who designs the high-speed train to the one who drives it. We salute all American workers in the transportation industry for their contributions to our Nation. We also pause to thank Americans who are working to increase transportation safety through educational programs, through efforts to promote the use of safety belts and child safety seats, and through endeavors to stop the tragedy of drunk driving accidents.

We must provide future generations with a transportation system that is safer, more environmentally sound, and more efficient. We must apply America's tremendous reserves of energy and ingenuity to this important task in order to ensure that America's transportation system will continue to serve our country's goals and enhance the quality of life of our people in the years to come.

In recognition of the importance of transportation and the millions of Americans who work to meet our transportation needs, the Congress, by joint resolution approved May 16, 1957 (36 U.S.C. 160), has requested that the third Friday in May of each year be designated as "National Defense Transportation Day" and, by joint resolution approved May 14, 1962 (36 U.S.C. 166), that the week in which that Friday falls be proclaimed "National Transportation Week."

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Friday, May 21, as National Defense Transportation Day and the week of May 16 through May 22, 1993, as National Transportation Week. I urge all Americans to observe these occasions with appropriate ceremonies and activities that will give due recognition to the individuals and organizations that build, operate, safeguard, and maintain this country's modern transportation system.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of May, 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


Note: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register on May 20.

William J. Clinton, Proclamation 6562—National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1993 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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