Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of General Taylor as Ambassador to Viet-Nam.

July 02, 1964

Ladies and gentlemen, General Taylor, Secretary Rusk:

General Taylor, on behalf of all of your countrymen, I want to congratulate you and express a very deep gratitude for the example of unselfish citizenship that you offer to the world today.

On many occasions in both war and peace, Maxwell Taylor has responded to his country's call without any thought of self.

Today you undertake still another demanding task. There are no illusions about the difficulty of the challenge. There are likewise no illusions about the responsibility or the importance of this assignment.

As you leave, Mr. Ambassador, the prayers and the hopes of all the American people are with you.

We are fortunate as a Nation that in this post to the highest duty one great American follows another great American. We are likewise fortunate to have in our military officers of the highest rank who respect with every fiber in their bodies the civilian tradition of our democratic society. And we are fortunate that they are willing to serve that tradition without any hesitation.

Our first purpose, our constant purpose in everything we seek to do, is honorable peace. We stand with those who stand in defense of their own freedom and independence. We work with those who work in support of peace for the world and progress under freedom for human mankind.

I know that as our Ambassador to Viet-Nam you will, Mr. Ambassador, communicate to the Vietnamese people and their leaders the resolve, the determination, and the continuing support of the American people.

General Taylor, we wish you Godspeed on your journey and in your service.

Note: The ceremony was held in the early afternoon in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his opening words the President referred to Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, formerly Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Dean Rusk, Secretary of State.

The text of General Taylor's response was also released.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks at the Swearing In of General Taylor as Ambassador to Viet-Nam. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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