Veterans Day 2002
November 6, 2002
America was founded on the principles of liberty, opportunity, and justice for
all, and on Veterans Day we recognize the men and women of our Armed Forces
who have valiantly defended these values throughout our Nation's history. These
remarkable individuals have helped to make our Nation secure and to advance
the cause of freedom worldwide. By answering the call of duty and risking their
lives to protect their fellow countrymen, these patriots have inspired our Nation
with their courage, compassion, and dedication.
There are currently more than 25 million living American veterans, many of whom
put their lives on the line to preserve our freedoms. Our veterans served on
the land, at sea, and in the air, from the shores of Omaha Beach and the jungles
of Vietnam, to the sands of the Persian Gulf, the mountains of Afghanistan,
and many other battlefields around the globe. Through each of these challenges,
the members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard have protected
our country and liberated millions of people around the world from the threats
of tyranny and terror.
Our proud veterans have also helped to shape the American character. They have
given us an extraordinary legacy of patriotism and honor, and their service
represents the highest form of citizenship. So that young Americans can better
understand the commitment and sacrifice of these heroes in securing the blessings
of liberty, I ask all schools to observe November 10 through November 16, 2002,
as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage educators to invite veterans
to teach our young people about their experiences. By sharing their knowledge
on some of the most proud and dramatic moments in our history, they can help
educate and inspire a new generation of Americans.
On the observance of Veterans Day in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called
on all citizens to not only remember "the sacrifices of all those who fought
so valiantly..." but also to rededicate themselves "to the task of
promoting an enduring peace...." Today, almost 50 years later, we remember
the dedication of our veterans, and resolve ourselves to upholding their legacy
of justice, liberty, and opportunity for all.
In recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the
cause of peace and freedom around the world, 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 veterans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America,
do hereby proclaim November 11, 2002, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans
to observe November 10 through November 16, 2002, as National Veterans Awareness
Week. I urge all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans
through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal,
State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to encourage
and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic
and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions,
and the media to support this national observance with suitable commemorative
expressions and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of November,
in the year of our Lord two thousand two, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the two hundred and twenty-seventh.