January 22, 1981

Welcome to Freedom.

While we at home cannot begin to know the depth of your feelings, we want you to know of our profound respect for your professionalism and patriotism under the most demanding circumstances.

I want you to know of our deep personal commitment to your future and the importance I attach to your return and to the restoration of both your family and professional relationships.

Our most immediate concern is to ensure that you are quickly reunited with your families and that you are once again able to enjoy the precious blessings of freedom.

As difficult as this experience has been for each of you, it contains lessons for us all. Please know that we are with each of you, and that this episode in our history will be ever with us as, together, we look to the future.

Ronald Reagan

Note: The text of the message was read to the freed Americans in Wiesbaden, Germany.