Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks of Welcome to His Majesty Baudouin I, King of the Belgians, at the Washington National Airport

May 11, 1959

Your Majesty, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Speaking on behalf of the American people, Your Majesty, I assure you of a very warm welcome to this country.

Our people have long admired and respected Belgium. We have sympathized with her in her adversity during the periods of war. We have greatly admired the way that she has rallied from the distress and destruction of such wars and has taken her place in the ranks of those nations marching toward peace and cooperation among themselves.

So, when you travel about our country, our people first of all will be trying to show their feelings of affection to the Head of State of Belgium. But they will be trying also to show their feeling of friendship and real close association with the people of your great--even if relatively small from our standards--country.

So again, from all of us, to you and to your people, a warm welcome.

Note: King Baudouin responded as follows:

Mr. President:

My heartfelt thanks for your gracious and warm welcome.

Forty years ago, my grandparents and my father enjoyed a wonderful welcome which was accorded them at their arrival and throughout their journey across this great country. Eleven years ago, I came to this country on a private and much too short visit. Ever since I have had the desire to know it better. I am grateful to you for your kind invitation and for the opportunity given me to travel in the United States.

Today, on my arrival to this Capital, the heart of the free world, I should like to leave with you a special message of friendship from the people of Belgium. The two countries have been closely united in war and in peace. Their joint destiny is now ensured by historical alliance. We are indebted to the United States for their assistance in the hours of grave peril when our very existence was at stake. But we owe them so much more: our faith in justice and our hopes for a better world.

May this great country of yours, supreme in its dignity, ever conscious of the rightfulness of its cause, continue to march forward in the service of peace and freedom.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks of Welcome to His Majesty Baudouin I, King of the Belgians, at the Washington National Airport Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235605

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