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News Release


Release No: 270-95
May 18, 1995


President William J. Clinton, Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John M. Shalikashvili have issued the following messages to members of the Armed Forces in observance of Armed Forces Day, May 20.


Every year on this day our citizens join in honoring you, the men and women who wear our nation's uniform. You risk your very lives to defend the liberties we hold dear. Americans everywhere recognize your dedication and professionalism, and all of us feel profound respect, pride and appreciation for our armed forces.

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the allied victory in World War II, everyone on earth should pause to express heartfelt gratitude to those who fought and sacrificed in that awful conflict. We do no greater honor to the memory of those lost in World War II than to continue their fight against tyranny and oppression everywhere.

Each of you has stood to carry on that fight in the past year. You have been called to serve in lands far from home. You have brought freedom and security to our friends and allies and humanitarian aid to those in need. In Haiti, you helped restore democracy; in the Persian Gulf, you faced down the forces of aggression; and in central Africa, you delivered lifesaving food, water and medicine. Throughout the year, you maintained the security of our country at home and at posts around the world.

Whether you serve in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, or the Coast Guard, you standards of excellence and your selfless service are models for all Americans. I am proud to salute you for your many extraordinary accomplishments. SECRETARY PERRY

Fifty years ago, in World War II, the United States armed forces helped defeat the forces of aggression and oppression on two sides of the globe. For the next 45 years, in the Cold War, we faced down the global Soviet threat. Today, our forces stand guard, at home and abroad, against a range of potential threats to American interests.

And on Armed Forces Day, the nation says thank you to our men and women in uniform, their families, and the communities that support them. The dedication, spirit, courage and patriotism of our forces make them a beacon of freedom in a turbulent world.

Around the world, there is a growing sense of peace and cooperation among nations that once struggled against oppression. From Eastern Europe to Southwest Asia to nations in our own hemisphere, this growing sense of peace and cooperation is a testament to the service of American forces. You have helped to share the blessings of liberty we enjoy with more people around the world.

Daniel Webster said, "God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it." America loves liberty. And we are proud of our forces, who are always ready to guard and defend our liberty. We sleep better each night knowing our nation's security is in sure and strong hands.


Today we celebrate Armed Forces Day -- a day to honor the selfless contributions of our men and women in uniform. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. We have commemorated many famous battles and events from that era: Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the link-up at the Elbe, to name a few. No sooner were these battles won and our victories secured than our armed forces found themselves engaged in a new kind of war the Cold War. Then, more names were woven into the fabric of America's consciousness, live Heartbreak Ridge, Khe Sanh and Rio Hato.

And after the fall of the Berlin Wall, other names became familiar: Desert Storm, Mogadishu and Cap Haitien. Each operation, campaign or battle marks a unique chapter in America's military history and each shares the same important ingredients: the spirit, pride, valor and unwavering dedication of America's warriors.

We now stand at the threshold of dramatic change, and within our reach is an unparalleled opportunity to shape the future. And it is you -- America's dedicated warriors who won the Cold War -- to whom the world will look as we approach the 21st century.

As a member of the world's greatest military, you can truly take pride in its heritage. On behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I applaud your devotion or our nation, and salute you on this Armed Forces Day.

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