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Radio Remarks on the Observance of Memorial Day

May 31, 1999

Since the Civil War, Memorial Day has been a time for Americans to take a moment from our busy lives to remember the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to our Nation.

This has been a century of great progress for the United States, but we must never forget that it came with a heavy price. At home and abroad, our victories over adversity were made possible by those who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, and those who did make that sacrifice.

Today most Americans will enjoy a well-deserved day off from the cares of work and school; we'll relax at home and cherish the company of loved ones. But as we contemplate the comforts and blessings of our lives and the wellbeing of our Nation, I ask you to pause just for a moment to remember those who gave their lives to protect the values that give meaning to our lives. I ask you also to think of our men and women in uniform who are risking their lives in the skies over Serbia, so that our children may inhabit a world where people are not murdered and driven from their homes because of their faith or their heritage.

As our Armed Forces and our allies strive to build peace in the Balkans, and in other places far from America's shores, let us all join in thanking them for all they do every day to defend our freedom.

NOTE: The President's remarks were recorded at 5:31 p.m. on May 30 at the White Oak Plantation in Yulee, FL, for later broadcast. The transcript was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 31, but due to technical difficulties the audio version was not made available.

William J. Clinton, Radio Remarks on the Observance of Memorial Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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