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end, we all pray that we have sent America's sons and daughters to war for the last time. Yet, history suggests that during your years of service, we will again need to call upon America's weapons and warriors to defend our national interests.

The changes of recent years allow us to be hopeful. But common sense reminds us to be prepared. One way we must be prepared is by ensuring that our forces have what they need to get the job done, the equipment and the quality people needed to ensure that we can achieve decisive victory should we be called to battle once again. As our forces must change to meet the challenges and dangers of a new world, one need will remain constant, the requirement for leaders of character.

You will be called upon in many ways in this era: to keep the peace, to relieve suffering, to help teach officers from new democracies in the ways of a democratic army, and still to fulfill the fundamental mission which General MacArthur reminded us of, which is always to be ready to win our wars.

But whatever the challenge, I know you will accomplish your mission, not only because of your training but because of your values and character. I will do my part by doing whatever is necessary to keep our forces ready—and to keep our microphones up. [Laughter] I will do my part—and I think the Congress will, too—to make sure that our forces are always ready to fight and win on a moment's notice. We ought, really, to meet the standard of one of your classmates, Pat Malcolm, who came in the clutch and delivered the goods for you. If we can do that, you will be able to serve.

If you have the character and will to win, we owe it to you to make you the best trained, the best prepared, the best equipped, and the best supported fighting force on the face of the Earth.

The budget cuts that have come at the end of the cold war were necessary, even welcome, appropriate in light of the collapse of the Soviet Union and other changes. But we must be mindful, even as we try so hard to reduce this terrible national deficit, that there is a limit beyond which we must not go. We have to ensure that the United States

is ready, ready to win and superior to all other military forces in the world.

In doing that, we can ensure that the values you learned here and the values you brought here from your families and your communities back home will be able to spread throughout this country and throughout the world and give other people the opportunity to live as you have lived, to fulfill your God-given capacities.

We must also stay prepared by understanding the threats of this new era. We can't predict the future. We cannot tell precisely when the next challenge will come or exactly what form it will take. Yet, we do know that the threats we face are fundamentally different from those of the recent past. The end of the bipolar superpower cold war leaves us with unfamiliar threats, not the absence of danger.

Consider what we witness today in the world you will move into: ethnic and religious conflict, the violent turmoil of dissolving or newly created states, the random violence of the assassin and the terrorist. These are forces that plagued the world in the early days of this century. As we scan today's bloodiest conflicts, from the former Soviet. Union and Yugoslavia to Armenia to Sudan, the dynamics of the cold war have been replaced by many of the dynamics of old war. A particularly troubling new element in the world you face, however, is the proliferation around the globe of weapons of mass destruction and the means for their delivery. Today, ambitious and violent regimes seek to acquire arsenals of nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare.

As we discovered in Iraq, surging stocks of ballistic missiles and other advanced arms have enabled outlaw nations to extend the threat of mass destruction a long way beyond their own borders. And meeting these new threats will require a new approach and a new determination shared by all peace-loving nations to oppose the spread of these dread weapons. In the coming months, our administration will address the dangers from growing stockpiles of nuclear materials that could be used in these weapons and the risk of nuclear smuggling and terrorism.

We will soon begin negotiations on a comprehensive test ban treaty which will increase

cannot rest upon a hollow army, neither can it rest upon a hollow economy.

our political leverage to combat this proliferation. We will reform our export controls to keep weapons-related technologies out of the wrong hands, while cutting redtape for legitimate American export activities. And we must make further changes in how we organize the Government to reflect the priority that we place on nonproliferation. For, if we must contemplate the possibility of sending America's men and women once again into harm's then we owe it to you to do our best to prevent the proliferation of weapons that could vastly multiply the dangers and the casualties of any conflict.


Ultimately, preparedness lies in strength. And if our Nation is to be strong abroad, it must also be strong at home. It was President Eisenhower who once said, "A strong economy is the physical basis, the physical basis of all our military power."

One of the most potent weapons behind our victory in World War II was the industrial might of the United States. What ultimately enabled us to prevail in the cold war was the simple fact that our free political and economic institutions had produced more prosperity and more personal human happiness than did the confining institutions of communism. In the same way our global era leadership must, must depend on our ability to create jobs and growth and opportunity for Americans here at home who, in turn, will have the finances to make sure we can maintain the world's strongest military.

Unfortunately, for too many years in this new global economy, we have had difficulty maintaining opportunity at home. In the face of intense competition around the world and the now-familiar problems we have in the United States, our debt has grown from $1 trillion to $4 trillion, even as we have reduced military spending and investments in areas that are crucial to our future in new technologies, in education and training, and in converting defense cutbacks into domestic economic opportunities.

Today we face an especially troubling phenomenon that the United States has never faced before at home: slow economic growth which does not create new jobs. We must refuse to accept this as a pattern that will be repeated in the future. Just as our security

If we are to sustain the American way of life that you have been trained so well to defend, we must do more and do better. We must cultivate the teacher who can hold her class' attention, encourage the entrepreneur who bets his savings on his own ideas. We must do right by the middle class families of this country who work hard and play by the rules. We must pay down the deficit and make downpayments on the future, both at the same time, honoring work, rewarding investment, and sharpening our competitive edge. If you can win on the battlefield, surely America can win in every field of competition we must face as we march toward the 21st century.

That is the great challenge facing our country. And the Congress today is facing that challenge in dealing with the economic plan I have presented. The House of Replike Congressman Jack Reed, who is the only resentatives, led by concerned Americans West Point graduate in the United States Congress, has sent a plan to the Senate which now must be produced from the Senate in the form of an economic plan to bring this country back.

In this new era, those of us in political life need a new strategy, need sound tactics, need the kind of discipline in implementing it that all of you have learned to provide for our Nation's defense here at West Point. In short, we must approach the job of rebuilding our Nation with the same kind of singleminded determination that you have brought your skills, your dedication, and leadership ability to in these 4 years and that you will bring to the defense of our Nation in the years ahead. We can do no less for you.

Finally, let me say this. Someday, some of you out here will be sitting in the Situation Room at the White House or with the President or with the Secretary of Defense in some other circumstance. At that moment you will be called to give your advice on an issue which may be small but also may be large and of incredible significance to the future of this country. I ask you in all the years ahead to keep preparing for that day throughout your careers by continuing study and continuous listening and continuous ab

sorption of every experience you have. The world is changing rapidly, and if you do not work to make change our friend, then it can become our enemy. You represent the very best of the American people. It will be your understanding of our Nation's challenges and your embodiment of our Nation's values, enriched by what you have learned here, leavened by the experiences to come, bound by your commitment to "Duty, Honor, Country" which will permit you to make our greatest contribution to the Nation: continuing service. You have earned your turn to lead, to follow in the footsteps of those who have been on the Plain before you.

Over the past 4 years, your Nation has invested heavily in you. The skills and dedication you now bring to the defense of our Nation are more than ample repayment. I am proud of the work you do, honored to serve as your Commander in Chief, confident that all Americans join me in saluting your achievement, and very, very optimistic about the future of our Nation in your hands.

Good luck. God bless you, and God bless America.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:20 a.m. in Michie Stadium. In his remarks, he referred to

Lt. Gen. Howard D. Graves, USA, Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy; Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; and Pat Malcolm, who kicked the winning field goal in the 1992 Army-Navy football game.

Remarks Honoring the Observance of the 50th Anniversary of World War II

May 31, 1993

Good morning. Please be seated. It's a great honor for the First Lady and for me to have all of you here in the White House today. I want to welcome all of you, and a few by name, beginning with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown; the Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. William Perry; Marvin Runyon, the Postmaster General; Lt. General Claude Kicklighter, the Executive Director of the World War II Commemoration Committee; Mr. Roger Durbin, a World War II veteran and the initiator of the World

War II Commemorative Coin legislation. Also here with me, representing all World War II veterans, is Admiral Eugene Fluckey. I'd like to welcome Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur from Ohio, an ardent supporter of veterans' cause who heeded the call of her constituent, Mr. Durbin, and took the lead on the legislation to issue the World War II 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin, to fund a building of the World War II Memorial here in Washington with no net cost to the United States Treasury. I wonder if we might undertake some other programs with that device. [Laughter]

I'd like to thank our good friend, Senator Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia, another great advocate for veterans, for being here with us; Secretary Shannon from the Army; Admiral Kelso, wearing both his Chief of Naval Operations and Navy Secretary hats today; Secretary Donley from the Air Force; Admiral Jeremiah, the Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs; General Sullivan, the Army Chief of Staff who took me to West Point on Saturday for one of the better days of my life, thank you, General; General McPeak, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force; General Mundy, the Commandant of the Marine Corps; and Admiral Kime, the Commandant of the Coast Guard. I'm delighted to welcome the many representatives of veteran service organizations who are here with us today.

I want to say a special word of thanks to the veterans organizations, and the VA particularly, for working with the health care task force that the First Lady is chairing so closely on health care. Hillary visited the Washington, DC, VA medical centers on May 29th, and she talked to me in our brief stay at Camp David for 30 or 40 minutes about how impressed she was about what she saw there. And we are very, very hopeful that we can work with the active military health operations and with the VA in working through this health care issue. I think you have a major role to play.

I'd also like to say a special word of thanks to the people who were involved in the May 28th kickoff of this weekend's Memorial Day remembrances. There I had the opportunity to speak with three VA medical centers, a telephone conversation that initiated a program replacing the old system of isolating

veterans in these hospitals from their families and friends by replacing it with a system where telephones are placed alongside their beds and are usable by veterans even with severe disabilities. We now are having five hospitals so equipped, but eventually will have 174 veterans hospitals where veterans will be able to call from their bedside to their families and friends.

This is an important issue. One of the men I talked with in Queens has three children; two of them are in the service and are overseas. And now, even though he is quite ill, he'll be able to talk on this day to both of his children who, like him, are serving in the armed services.

In just a few moments I'm going to sign a resolution and a proclamation designating this May 31st through June 7th as a period of national observance, as part of the 50th anniversary of World War II. But before I do that, and before Postmaster General Runyon and I unveil this year's additions of the World War II Commemorative Stamps, I'd like to say just a few things about the debt

that all of us owe to our veterans.

Fifty years ago, the United States and its allies were engaged in a monumental struggle to defeat a totalitarian Axis bent on controlling the world, to preserve the dignity of mankind and to protect individual freedom. Americans from every walk of life were called upon to sacrifice their freedoms and their comforts, to undergo great danger to shore up our Nation's future, and to fight for de


As we observe the 50th anniversary of World War II, our country must remember and honor the million who defended democracy and defeated aggression. We learned from those early defeats in World War II that we must remain vigilant and always prepared to resist future aggression and that all nations dedicated to freedom must stand together. The freedoms we enjoy today are results of our victory over aggression, and the efforts the United States makes today to work with all other nations who love and believe in freedom are a testimony to the wisdom of the lessons learned then.

We must be committed now to leave our children a world free of the horrors of war: hatred, violence, and inhumanity. Franklin

Roosevelt once said, "We must cultivate the science of human relationships, the ability of all people to live and work together in the same world at peace." I think Admiral Fluckey, a courageous man, Fluckey, a courageous man, would agree that while courage and deeds of warriors are indeed heroic, the ultimate goal of this courage is to make it unnecessary for future genera


President Kennedy once said, "It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure the peace only by preparing for war." Our Nation stands committed to defend itself and our allies by remaining strong and vigilant and ready. And therefore, it is very fitting that this week-long period of national observance of the 50th anniversary of World War II begins on Memorial Day, a day when we remember and honor our Nation's war dead. As we work toward a more peaceful future, it is appropriate that we remember and thank the brave and selfless patriots who served our Nation 50 years ago.

During this commemoration, Americans of all ages must also remember those who gave their lives and dedicated themselves in other wars so that our Nation could remain free and strong, so that the deeds, the commitment, and the sacrifice of those who made this commitment will not have been in vain.

I have asked the Secretary of Defense Les Aspin, who is in Brussels today, in conjunction with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown, to continue coordinating the commemorative events of the 50th anniversary of the Second World War. I want to urge all the veterans, the Government, the civic, the business, and the patriotic organizations to join together in expression so that a grateful Nation will remember. Our Nation will rededicate itself during this time to studying the lessons of the past.

I want to say in closing, again, how grateful I am to have all of you here in the White House today. This is your house. You have paid the price for it, and those whom you represent made the fact that it is still standing possible. We are all very, very grateful to you. Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 9:15 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. Following his remarks, he signed Proclamation 6568-Time for

the National Observance of the Fiftieth Anniversary of World War II.

Proclamation 6568-Time for the
National Observance of the Fiftieth
Anniversary of World War II
May 31, 1993

By the President of the United States
of America

A Proclamation

Americans live in an era when there are no major confrontations between world powers. This period of peace traces its roots back 50 years to the Second World War. Our Armed Forces stood strong against totalitarian regimes that sought to dominate and suppress freedom-loving peoples of the world. Although Americans felt ill-equipped to take on the vast international responsibilities, we rose to take on world leadership. In the process, we learned the price of aggression and the benefits of peace.

At the end of the Cold War, it is therefore fitting to remember the years of World War II and those brave and selfless American patriots who stood strong and true against tyranny so that we could enjoy a safer and more prosperous life. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's thoughts about the time still apply today:

We are faced with the pre-eminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relation

ship-the ability of all people, of all kinds, to live together and work together in the same world, at peace.

Our generation and future generations must heed these words. In a world warmed by the sunshine of freedom, but threatened still by ancient hatreds and new plagues, the United States of America must stand as a beacon of liberty and justice.

During this period of remembrance and reflection, it is appropriate that Memorial Day be included during the "Time for the National Observance of the Fiftieth Anniversary of World War II." As we preserve the memory of the events of World War II and honor the memory of our loved ones lost dur

ing that tragic time, I call upon Americans to study the history of that era so that the values our Nation defended and the lessons we learned will never be forgotten. I ask that we celebrate freedom and peace in our houses of worship and in our halls of government, in private thanksgiving and public ceremonies, and that we remember and honor our Nation's World War II veterans.

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 80, has designated May 30, 1993, through June 7, 1993, as a "Time for the National Observance of the Fiftieth Anniversary of World War II."

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate May 30, 1993, through June 7, 1993, as a Time for the National Observance of the Fiftieth Anniversary of World War II. I call upon all Americans to observe this period with appropriate programs and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventeenth.

William J. Clinton

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:44 p.m., June 3, 1993]

NOTE: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register on June 7.

Remarks at a Memorial Day
Ceremony at Arlington National
Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
May 31, 1993

Thank you very much. General Gordon, distinguished leaders of the armed services, the Defense Department, the Cabinet, the Congress, the leaders of our veterans organizations here, to all the veterans and their families who are here and to all those here who are family members of veterans buried in this cemetery or in any other place around the globe, and to my fellow Americans: We come together this morning, along with our countrymen and women in cities across the

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