September 23, 1986

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Veterans Day gives all Americans a special opportunity to pay tribute to all those men and women who, throughout our history, have left their homes and loved ones to serve their country.

Their willingness to give freely and unselfishly of themselves, even their lives, in defense of our democratic principles has given our great country the security we enjoy today. From Valley Forge to Vietnam, through war and peace, valiant, patriotic Americans have answered the call, serving with honor and fidelity.

On this special day, our hearts and thoughts turn to all the Nation's veterans. Let us reflect on the great achievements of those whose sacrifices preserved our freedom and our way of life. With a spirit of pride and gratitude, let us recall their heroic accomplishments and thank them for their unselfish devotion to duty. They are indeed worthy of the solemn tribute of a grateful Nation.

I invite all Americans to join me in observing Veterans Day -- through appropriate ceremonies, activities, and commemorations on November 11.

In order that we may pay fitting homage to those men and women who have proudly served in our Armed Forces, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103 (a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor America's veterans.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, November 11, 1986, as Veterans Day. I urge all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I also call upon Federal, State, and local government officials to display the flag of the United States and to encourage and participate in patriotic activities throughout the country. I invite the business community, churches, schools, unions, civic and fraternal organizations, and the media to support this national observance with suitable commemorative expressions and programs.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:26 p.m., September 24, 1986]