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Proclamation 6653—American Red Cross Month, 1994

March 02, 1994

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Over a century ago, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross to provide hope, compassion, and care to victims of catastrophe and destruction. Today over 150 countries uphold the idea of neutral and impartial assistance to all people in times of great pain, disaster, or war. In 2,600 chapters across the United States, and on 200 U.S. military installations around the world, over 1.4 million American Red Cross volunteers and more than 23,000 paid staff work diligently to save lives and to assist those in crisis.

It is fitting that in this month, which celebrates the coming of spring and the rebirth of nature, we take the time to acknowledge the many outstanding accomplishments of the American Red Cross. As the Honorary Chairman of this praiseworthy organization, I am proud to commend everyone who is associated with its life-saving efforts. The dedicated members of this organization have enabled thousands of people who thought hope had abandoned them to experience new and bright beginnings. Since 1881 the American Red Cross has helped millions who have entered its doors seeking shelter, food, financial assistance, training, and most important, compassion.

The last 12 months will go down in history as a litany of disasters of every description, from the Midwest floods to the California fires and earthquakes to the winter storms that gripped a large part of the country. The American Red Cross rose to each challenge in its usual timely and efficient manner, restoring hope for so many in need. The Red Cross is in the business of responding to disasters, large and small, 365 days a year. It also provides blood to hospital patients, who otherwise might not survive.

For many, the Great Flood of 1993 did not become a frightening headline until well into the summer. For the American Red Cross, however, the floodwaters had been a serious concern since early spring. Nine months after the flooding started, over 20,000 Red Cross workers had participated in the relief operation, more than 2.8 million meals had been served, and approximately 35,000 families had received assistance from Red Cross caseworkers.

While thousands of Red Cross workers helped victims recover from the floodwaters in the Midwest, Red Cross personnel in California faced a different challenge—fire. Hundreds of families fleeing the raging California fires found haven in Red Cross shelters. Fire victims were provided comfort and strength as they tried to rebuild their lives out of the ashes.

As 1993 came to a close and many of us began preparing for holiday meals, the Red Cross also was preparing meals—for cold and hungry people, victims of the winter storms that lashed out across the Nation. Once again, feeding vans were busily dispensing hot coffee and sandwiches, comfort and hope. The Red Cross set up over 100 shelters in 6 states, bringing security and warmth to those in need.

The year 1994 began with nature's awesome display of power, tearing southern California asunder in the Northridge earthquakes. Again the Red Cross was there to help those left homeless and hungry.

Thanks to the American Red Cross blood program, thousands receive life-giving donations and are able to enjoy one more birthday, one more anniversary, one more day of sunshine. The American Red Cross collects, processes, and distributes more than half the Nation's blood supply—all while ensuring that it is the safest in the world. Over 6 million times last year, donors came to the Red Cross to give the gift of life to others.

Through the network of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, families around our globe were able to locate and communicate with loved ones with whom they had lost contact due to wars or refugee movements. Prisoners of war saw hope come into their cells in the form of a Red Cross emblem. American Red Cross delegates called such places as Armenia, Croatia, and Cambodia home last year as they brought medical care, skilled relief workers, food, and reassurance to countries suffering from the ravages of disaster, disease, and war.

The Red Cross has earned our abiding respect, and we look forward to seeing its symbol of hope continue to shine brightly across this great land. A very grateful Nation thanks the American Red Cross for a job extremely well done.

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the month of March 1994, as "American Red Cross Month." I urge all Americans to continue their generous support of the Red Cross and its chapters nationwide through contributions of time, funds, and blood donations.

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

Signature of William J. Clinton


William J. Clinton, Proclamation 6653—American Red Cross Month, 1994 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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