For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 10, 2003
Veterans Day, 2003
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
In Focus: Veterans
The willingness of America's veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude. On this, our Nation's 50th annual Veterans Day observance, we celebrate and honor the patriots who have fought to protect the democratic ideals that are the foundation of our country.
When the armistice ending World War I was signed on November 11, 1918, more than 4.7 million Americans put down their arms and turned to the work of strengthening our Nation. The end of that first global conflict was initially commemorated as Armistice Day. In 1954, the Congress renamed the day as Veterans Day to recognize all those who have served in our Armed Forces.
Today, our veterans inspire new generations of Americans as we work to defeat terrorism and advance peace. In respect for and 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, 2003, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 9 through November 15, 2003, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate ceremonies and prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to 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 tenth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-eighth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
# # #