Bill Clinton photo

Remarks in a Telephone Conversation With Gaetano Maggio

November 11, 1995

The President. Hello.

Mr. Maggio. Hello, Mr. President.

The President. Mr. Maggio?

Mr. Maggio. Yes, sir.

The President. Happy birthday.

Mr. Maggio. Thank you, sir.

The President. I heard you're in Tampa with a big group of family members and friends.

Mr. Maggio. Right. That's my home in Tampa. Been in Tampa—my home since 1903.

The President. That's great. And this is your actual birthday, on this Veterans Day, is that right?

Mr. Maggio. Actual birthday, November the 11th at 11 o'clock at night.

The President. That's amazing. And you were among the first group of people from Tampa to volunteer for World War I, weren't you?

Mr. Maggio. Yes, sir. I sure did.

The President. Well, I really appreciate you.

Mr. Maggio. Thank you.

The President. I appreciate you and—do you have all your children there?

Mr. Maggio. All here.

The President. And a lot of grandchildren there?

Mr. Maggio. I got grandchildren and a greatgrandchild here. It's the fifth generation.

The President. That's great.

Mr. Maggio. They come from Fort Lauderdale just to celebrate my birthday.

The President. I bet you're proud of that.

Mr. Maggio. I sure am.

The President. You've been very fortunate, haven't you?

Mr. Maggio. I've been very fortunate with my family. Got a beautiful family. And all— all of the boys that were servicemen—ex-servicemen—all have been servicemen.

The President. I know you're proud of them.

Mr. Maggio. And I'm proud of them. The whole six of them.

The President. Well, I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday, and I wanted to tell you that I'm proud of you, and I'm very grateful that our country has had someone like you——

Mr. Maggio. Thank you.

The President. ——living here throughout the 20th century, seeing all the changes you've seen, and making the sacrifices you've made so that we could stay a free country and——

Mr. Maggio. I've seen plenty.

The President. You have seen a lot, haven't you.

Mr. Maggio. Yes, good and bad.

The President. Yes. But we can still bring immigrants to our shores and give them a shot at a better life because of people like you. And I really thank you for it.

Mr. Maggio. Thank you.

The President. And you have a wonderful day.

Mr. Maggio. Have a beautiful day, too. Thank you.

The President. Tell your family I said hello.

Mr. Maggio. Mr. President says hello to the family.

The Maggio Family. Hello, Mr. President.

The President. [Laughter] They sound great!

Thank you, sir, and God bless you.

Mr. Maggio. Thank you, sir.

The President. Bye-bye.

NOTE: The President spoke at 1:21 p.m. from the Oval Office at the White House.

William J. Clinton, Remarks in a Telephone Conversation With Gaetano Maggio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives