Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks of Welcome to President Lemus of El Salvador at the Washington National Airport

March 10, 1959

Mr. President, on behalf of the people of the United States, and of the government and myself, I bid you a cordial welcome to the United States.

This, of course, is not your first visit to our country. You are no stranger here. But you have demonstrated in your position of great responsibility such great awareness of the principles on which this country was founded--you have been such a great supporter of those principles-that it is a special privilege for me to have this opportunity to renew with you an association and friendship that began back in Panama in 1956.

So, to you and Senora Lemus I say welcome, with the great hope that you will find here an interesting and enjoyable experience, to say nothing of meeting with people who will share with you such views about government and about the dignity of man.

So again--welcome, Mr. President.

Note: President Lemus responded (through an interpreter) as follows:

Mr. President, it is a source of great satisfaction and honor for me to be able to express my thanks to you, to the American government, and to the American people upon my arrival in this country.

My government, myself, and the people of El Salvador, have considered your invitation to visit this country to be a great honor, and we are most happy that we are able to do so.

As you have said, Mr. President, this country is by no means unknown to me. I come to this country where I have acquired part of my knowledge and part of my culture, and for this reason I have a particularly warm feeling toward this country and its people.

I come from a country in Latin America, El Salvador--a country which is mindful of its traditions and proud of its history--and I am proud to be visiting the great nation of the United States, which has become the great leader of the free nations, at a time when we must all stand together. I feel that after my visit here--after the opportunity of exchanging points of view and of expressing concerns-there will arise from this closer and stronger relations between this great country and the bloc of Latin American nations of which we are a part.

This is all the more important at a time when democracy is threatened in all that makes it what it is. It is a time when we must close ranks and stand together.

Mr. President, I may affirm to you that in this great struggle El Salvador will stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States, which has fought in the past, and is fighting now, and will fight in the future in defense of the rights of man.

And our people have, for this reason, the greatest feeling of warmth toward your country, even in a struggle--if we must lay down our lives to defend freedom--that freedom may live.

For this reason, Mr. President, in the name of my wife, and in the name of the members of my party, and in the name of my government and my people, I would like to express my thanks to you for this magnificent reception that has been given to me this morning.

I would also like to express to you, Mr. President, my deep personal respects to Mrs. Eisenhower, as well as to express again my thanks.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks of Welcome to President Lemus of El Salvador at the Washington National Airport Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235302

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