Proclamation 4870 -- National Guard Day

October 6, 1981

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Three hundred and forty-five years ago, the first settlers organized militia units to defend their homes and lives in Massachusetts Bay Colony. With these first units the tradition of the citizen-soldier was born and took root in America, a tradition exemplified by the willingness of private citizens to leave their civilian occupations, don the uniform of their country, and serve their States and their Nation when the need arises.

These citizen-soldiers camped with Washington at Valley Forge and charged up San Juan Hill. They fought in the Meuse-Argonne and on Omaha Beach. Since World War II, the National Guard has played a role in every major American crisis or conflict including Korea, Berlin, and Vietnam. When called upon by their country, the men and women of the Guard have always responded.

When disaster has struck in times of peace, the Guard has been equally ready to serve, whether in the flood waters of Johnstown, or on the slopes of Mount St. Helens. The Guard has been responsible for saving countless lives and millions of dollars of property and equipment by its quick responses and efficiency.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, ask all Americans to celebrate Wednesday, October 7, 1981, as National Guard Day and to honor the Army and Air National Guard of the United States for service to their communities, to their States and to their Nation.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 6th day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:14 a.m., October 7, 1981]

Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 7.