Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks Upon Signing the Allied Wartime Veterans Medical Benefits Bill

October 14, 1976

Good morning, everybody.

It's a great privilege and pleasure for me to welcome the distinguished Members of the Congress and representatives of various veterans organizations, ethnic groups, and the like. It's a great day here in the Rose Garden, and good luck. And it's nice to see you all.

But I'm especially pleased to have the opportunity to recognize the contributions of many valiant Americans of Polish and Czech ancestry who fought for freedom.

I think this legislation that I'm signing today provides that any person who served during World War I or World War II as a member of any armed force of the Government of Czechoslovakia or Poland and participated while so serving in armed conflict with an enemy of the United States shall by virtue of such service be entitled to certain medical benefits. This legislation requires that each person who is so entitled shall have been a citizen of the United States for at least 10 years.

For two centuries a very fundamental principle of American policy toward other nations has remained unchanged. The American people support the aspirations for freedom, independence, and national self-determination of people everywhere. We do not accept foreign domination over any nation.

The people we recognize with this legislation today fought alongside of us for these ideals. This year, as American citizens, they joined with us in our Bicentennial celebration. Their wartime service is an inspiration and a lasting contribution to the strength of America and to America's commitment to freedom.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:57 a.m. at a ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House.

As enacted, the bill (H.R. 71) is Public Law 94491 (90 Stat. 2363).

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks Upon Signing the Allied Wartime Veterans Medical Benefits Bill Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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