Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day and Human Rights Week
December 9, 2001
The terrible tragedies of September 11 served as a grievous reminder that the
enemies of freedom do not respect or value individual human rights. Their brutal
attacks were an attack on these very rights. When our essential rights are attacked,
they must and will be defended.
Americans stand united with those who love democracy, justice, and individual
liberty. We are committed to upholding these principles, embodied in our Constitution's
Bill of Rights, that have safeguarded us throughout our history and that continue
to provide the foundation of our strength and prosperity.
The heinous acts of terrorism committed on September 11 were an attack against
civilization itself, and they have caused the world to join together in a coalition
that is now waging war on terrorism and defending international human rights.
Americans have looked beyond our borders and found encouragement as the world
has rallied to join the American-led coalition. Civilized people everywhere
have recognized that terrorists threaten every nation that loves liberty and
cherishes the protection of individual rights.
Respect for human dignity and individual freedoms reaffirms a core tenet of
civilized people everywhere. This important observance honoring our Bill of
Rights and advocating human rights around the world allows all Americans to
celebrate the universal principles of liberty and justice that define our dreams
and shape our hopes as we face the challenges of a new era.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America,
by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the
United States, do hereby proclaim December 10, 2001, as Human Rights Day; December
15, 2001, as Bill of Rights Day; and the week beginning December 9, 2001, as
Human Rights Week. I call upon the people of the United States to honor the
legacy of human rights passed down to us from previous generations and to resolve
that such liberties will prevail in our Nation and throughout the world as we
move into the 21st century.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of December,
in the year of our Lord two thousand one, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth.