Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks of Welcome at the White House to President Macapagal of the Philippines

October 05, 1964

Mr. President:

For the American people and for myself, may I say welcome to this land and to this city.

Our country is honored for you because you come representing a people that Americans honor greatly.

The United States enjoys friendship with many nations, but with your nation, Mr. President, there is and there always will be a special friendship, a special quality of understanding between us.

Our nations grew up together. We fought together for common beliefs. We work together today for common goals. Our eyes are on the future but our hearts will never forget the past.

A part of the soul of America remains forever on Bataan and Corregidor. Our sons and your sons died together there so that we might stand together here in independence and in freedom.

We have peace and we prize it, but we prize freedom and honor more. If any break the peace and attack freedom, we are prepared and ready to give firm and appropriate reply.

We shall remember always the price that free men once paid in the Pacific for doing too little too late. We are determined that those words shall never be heard from free men again.

Ten years ago in Manila, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization was formed. On that cornerstone the cause of freedom stands in southeast Asia and the United States stands steadfastly in its support.

Mr. President, the success of your dynamic democracy shows to all that freedom is the wave of the future for Asia and for all the nations that rim the vast Pacific.

The honor is ours today to have you here with us.

In this house and wherever you go in this land, you will find the affection and the warmth of a nation that regards with great warmth and deep affection your nation and all of your people.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 11:49 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House where President Diosdado P. Macapagal was given a formal welcome with full military honors. President Macapagal responded as follows:

Mr. President:

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the warmth and graciousness of your welcome and for the generous words that you have uttered about my country and the relations between us.

I am certain that the sentiments that you have expressed are fully appreciated and reciprocated by our people.

I come to the United States off America as President of the Philippines in response to an invitation extended to me by the President of the United States, His Excellency Lyndon Johnson.

I am profoundly aware of the honor of the invitation, and I am here to renew the friendship between my country and the United States. That friendship has a long history.

As the representative of the Filipino people, I am proud to reaffirm the honorable auspices of that amity. It is based on a common commitment to ideals that have been sustained and mutually affirmed by our two peoples in the ordeal of crucial struggles to maintain peace and to uphold freedom.

This common commitment, Mr. President, we have reaffirmed in war. I consider it my distinct privilege in behalf of my people now to reassure its continuity in peace.

Mr. President, as I present the greetings of the Filipino people to you who symbolizes the authority of the American people, I also wish in my people's name to pay homage of respect to the obelisk we see from this impressive White House Lawn because, to us in the Philippines, George Washington epitomizes the idea of freedom that is the rampart of this great democratic country and the guiding inspiration of our history as a people.

Thank you.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks of Welcome at the White House to President Macapagal of the Philippines Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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