Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks of Welcome to President Garcia of the Philippines at the Washington National Airport

June 17, 1958

President Garcia, Madam Garcia, and all members of the party that are accompanying you to this country today:

First, may I have the privilege of extending to you a very warm welcome from this government and from its people. In saying this, there is on my part far more of personal sentiment than would normally be the case.

As you may recall--from the years 1935, when the Philippines first became a commonwealth--and until the beginning of 1940, I served not only in your country, but as a subordinate on General MacArthur's staff. I served the Philippine government by assignment from this government. It was a very priceless privilege. It was an opportunity to learn something of your country, its people, its islands, its economy, its political formation. On top of that I formed many warm friendships that endure to this day.

I thought and I still believe Mr. Quezon was a great leader with a great vision. I still regret that he is not with us today to join with the people that are in this audience--to welcome you and to say he is glad to see the President of an independent Philippines coming over here to meet in the Capital City of our country so many of the people here that I hope he will find both interesting and possibly enjoyable.

Thank you for coming with us--to all members of your party--and greetings to your people through you.

Thank you.

Note: President Garcia responded as follows:

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Mrs. Garcia and I would like to thank you most warmly for this kindness of receiving us here today. I would like to state, Mr. President, that this demonstration of kindness, and I would say kinship, has touched me to the quick.

Any head of state that is thus welcomed to his lovely city, which is .now considered the capital city of the free world, will have that overwhelming sense of joy and pride. But for a President of the Philippines this feeling acquires a special quality. for I come here not as a stranger, not merely as one of your many friends and allies, but I come bearing with me the affection of a grateful people whom you have served so well and so long.

This is a feeling that I have today, Mr. President, that I do not come here with any other feeling but that of a spiritual homecoming and your presence has indeed enhanced that feeling.

As one of the great Americans that saw service in our country, you are a living witness to the indissoluble bond of common ideals that bind our two peoples together. I have come to make a fresh assurance of our people's undying fidelity to those ideals, and I am happy and honored to be able to present to you this reassurance in person.

Thank you.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks of Welcome to President Garcia of the Philippines at the Washington National Airport Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233581

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