Proclamation 5880 -- Veterans Day, 1988


October 12, 1988


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


Seventy years ago, on November 11, 1918, World War I ended by armistice. On that date each year, America calls to mind the ideals and achievements of U.S. forces in that conflict and throughout our history; and we salute and thank all the veterans of our military for their service, sacrifices, and love of country.


America, the land of liberty, seeks ever to defend freedom and to build the essentials of lasting peace. Experience has taught us that preparedness deters aggression and that weakness invites it. Innumerable Americans have preserved the peace by manning our defenses through the years; and, when we have been called upon as a people to resist the forces of aggression and tyranny, countless brave men and women have donned military uniform to do so. They have known that the defense of our heritage may demand even the supreme sacrifice; and many of them have made that sacrifice for our Nation. We and the generations to come can never forget them. Serving in wartime and in peacetime, our veterans have made us and kept us free and strong.


We can all testify proudly that the same love of country that inspires America's veterans during their military service remains with them in later years. Across our land, veterans continue to contribute to our Nation -- in the private sector; in public office; in volunteer service; in efforts for their fellow veterans, hospitalized or with other needs; in activities for young people; in the patriotic, civic, religious, fraternal, and service groups that cement our communities and country together; and in support of the strong defenses America needs to maintain peace and freedom.


For these reasons and many more, all Americans should proudly pause on Veterans Day to express heartfelt thanks and esteem to the veterans of our land.


In order that we may pay fitting homage to those who have 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 Friday, November 11, 1988, 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 take part in patriotic activities throughout our 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 twelfth day of October, 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 thirteenth.


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:24 a.m., October 13, 1988]