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Proclamation 5811 -- National Defense Transportation Day and National Transportation Week, 1988

May 5, 1988

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Transportation is essential to American life. Our safe, fast, economical, and convenient movement of people and goods is the cornerstone of our country's social and economic welfare and of our national defense. Now, as in the past, our transportation systems -- highways, airports, inland waterways, railroads and public transit, our merchant fleet and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway -- provide a superior emergency response network and are available as a critical component of our national defense. As our citizens travel in record numbers for business or pleasure, our local, State, and Federal governments continue to work with the transportation industry to enhance transportation safety.

The growth of our Nation and the development of transportation have been intertwined throughout our history. Those who first explored this vast country were followed by pioneers who established settlements. Most of the road routes, river systems, and ocean ports used by our earliest settlers are still in use today. Many of our great cities originated as towns that were starting or end points for transportation systems. As trade and commerce grew, transportation provided the necessary link to vital resources that in turn enabled further national growth. On land and water, in the air, and in space, our transportation systems have become an essential element of our Nation's economic health, providing indispensable services and generating employment for millions of people.

This week we acknowledge the contributions of the dedicated people who build, maintain, and safeguard our transportation systems -- from the flagman on a highway project to the space engineer. We honor those who led the way in the development and improvement of ships, waterways, motor vehicles, highways, trains, airplanes, and our newest transportation vehicles, spacecraft. The recent announcement of our National Space Policy means that we continue to call for the help of modern-day pioneers on the frontiers of space technology. With public and private cooperation, our Nation is building a highway to space that will serve as an economic bridge to the 21st century.

In recognition of the importance of transportation and of the millions of Americans who serve and supply our transportation needs, the Congress has requested, by joint resolution approved May 16, 1957 (36 U.S.C. 160), that the third Friday in May of each year be designated as "National Defense Transportation Day''; and by joint resolution approved May 14, 1962 (36 U.S.C. 166), that the week in which that Friday falls be proclaimed "National Transportation Week.''

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Friday, May 20, 1988, as National Defense Transportation Day and the week of May 15 through May 21, 1988, as National Transportation Week. I urge the people of the United States to observe these occasions with appropriate ceremonies that will give full recognition to the citizens and groups that operate the transportation systems of our country.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:32 p.m., May 5, 1988]