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Statement on the Death of Admiral Arleigh A. Burke

January 01, 1996

We mourn the passing today of Adm. Arleigh A. Burke, U.S. Navy (Retired), whose dedicated and exceptional career is cherished by everyone who knew of his extraordinary courage, legendary reputation, and selfless service.

Last summer, as I prepared for the 50th anniversary of the commemoration of V-J Day and the end of the war in the Pacific, I had the honor and privilege of having dinner with Admiral Burke. I benefited then from his wise counsel, as had previous Presidents before me. Courageous and gallant, he was renowned for his heroism and leadership during the Pacific battles of World War II, from Cape St. George and the Solomon Sea to Leyte Gulf and Okinawa. During his 6-year tenure as Chief of Naval Operations in the pivotal years of the cold war, Admiral Burke's vision ensured a balanced and versatile Navy to help deter world war and respond to whatever crises might come. The U.S. Navy, in naming one of its most powerful class of surface ships after "31-Knot Burke," has ensured that his name will ride the seas as a reminder in the coming century of an indomitable destroyerman and naval leader who stood for freedom and the excellence needed to defend it.

To Admiral Burke's wife of 72 years, Roberta, his family and friends, and to the Navy community, I extend my heartfelt condolences. We will remember him as one of America's finest sailors and most capable military leaders.

NOTE: The related proclamation of January 2 is listed in Appendix D at the end of this volume.

William J. Clinton, Statement on the Death of Admiral Arleigh A. Burke Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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