President William J. Clinton, Secretary of Defense William J. Perry andChairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John M. Shalikashvili have issuedthe following messages to members of the Armed Forces in observance of theHoliday Season:
At this special time of year, when Americans gather to celebrate Christmas,Hanukkah, and the promise of the New year, we rejoice in the blessings ofliberty and peace.
And, while rejoicing, we remember that we enjoy theseblessings because of your courage and commitment to service.
We remember especially those of you who will be observing these holidays indistant places, sometimes in harms way, and far from family and friends.
Weare keeping you close in our thoughts and pray for your safety.
It is my great honor to serve as Commander in Chief of the dedicated men andwomen of our Armed Forces.
You are the steadfast guardians of our freedomaround the globe.
You have advanced democracy against tyranny; you havebrought humanitarian assistance to people in need throughout the world; and youcarry hope for real peace to those devastated by war.
In this season ofcelebration, the American people salute you as the guarantors of all we holddear.
Hillary and I extend to you and your families our warm wishes for the happiestof holidays and every joy in the new year.
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM J. PERRY
The holiday season brings to mind a snow-covered landscape with people gatheredinside by a cozy fire and warmed by the closeness of friends and families.
This is not the typical holiday scene for many American service members.
Manyof you look out into the jungles of Panama or across the sands of the MiddleEast.
Others battle winter seas or fly through snowstorms.
Still, othersstand guard in Korea or work to aid the U.N. and NATO efforts in the formerYugoslavia.
Being separated from your families and friends during the holidays is part ofthe sacrifice you bear as the shield of the United States.
But the work youare doing is absolutely vital to the peace of the United States and the world.American service members are the surest guarantee that the United States willremain a free country, capable of providing leadership around the globe.
The holidays are a time for celebrating peace.
It is fitting, then, in thisseason of peace to thank you and your families for the magnificent work youdo.
Wherever you are this holiday season, I wish you joy and a peaceful New Year.
Heartfelt greetings for a joyful holiday season and best wishes for a peacefulNew Year.
During this special time, we share the wonders of faith, the spiritof goodwill, and the hope for a future filled with promise.
One of the greatest privileges as Chairman is sending a personal holidaygreeting to the men and women in uniform.
Ours is a unique calling--each ofyou has a hand in establishing and preserving peace and stability throughoutthe world.
You are shining symbols of American goodwill, freedom, anddemocracy.
In travels throughout this great Nation, time and again I am toldhow very grateful Americans are for the job and the personal sacrifices thatyou make.
Your dedicated service makes me proud.
For those fortunate enough during this blessed season to be with loved ones,let's take a few moments to remember fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, marinesand coastguardsmen on station around the globe, from the Balkans to theEcuador-Peru border to the Sinai to the Korean border.
For the brave men andwomen deployed in ships at sea, the field, and remote air bases, our thoughtsand prayers are with you.
Mrs. Shalikashvili and the Joint Chiefs of Staff join me in sending warmestwishes for a safe, enjoyable holiday season.
May 1996 be filled with everyblessing that you and your families so richly deserve.