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For Immediate Release
February 14, 2006
African-American History Month Message, 2006
I am pleased to join my fellow citizens in celebrating African-American History Month - when we honor the proud heritage of African-Americans and recognize their many contributions to our Nation.
Throughout our history, African-American leaders like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. called our Nation to live up to the promises of our Declaration of Independence. Recently we lost two leaders who worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality - Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King. These strong and courageous women showed that a life of conscience and purpose can touch and lift up millions of lives. We mourn their loss and we honor their memory ... and we renew our commitment to the American ideals that inspired their work.
This month, we also remember and thank the many African-Americans who are defending those ideals as members of our Armed Forces. These courageous men and women are risking their lives to preserve our liberty. By bringing the promise of freedom to millions across the world, they are carrying on the great legacy of African-American leaders who fought to bring freedom to millions here at home. And like those great leaders, their contributions will be celebrated by generations of future Americans.
During the last half century, our Nation has made great progress toward racial equality. But we still have more work to do. We will keep striving to build an America where the dignity of every person is respected ... where people are judged by the content of their character ... and where the hope of the American Dream reaches every neighborhood. As we observe African-American History Month, we honor the achievements of the past - and we continue our efforts to make America a single Nation of justice and opportunity.
May God bless you and may God continue to bless America.