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Bush Issues Executive Order, Proclamation on Reagan's Death

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2004 – President Bush issued an executive order closing federal offices June 11 in observance of Reagan's passing.

That June 6 order does not apply to organizations that need to stay open because of national security, defense or essential public business. Included in the exceptions are the departments of State, Defense, Justice and Homeland Security.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put out further guidance in a memo today to all military organizations and elements under DoD.

In it, he directed that "all addressees shall determine which elements" under them "shall remain open to support and conduct military activities related to the global war o n terrorism; to maintain the health, safety and protection of DoD personnel and facilities; and to ensure the continuance of their respective organization's mission-essential functions."

"You should ensure that sufficient staff is on hand to support them in carrying out your essential responsibilities," Rumsfeld wrote to all DoD leaders.

The president proclaimed June 11 as a national day of mourning to honor the memory of the former president.

Reagan possessed "an unshakeable faith in the values of our country and the character of our people" and "renewed America's confidence and restored our nation," Bush proclaimed on June 6.

Reagan's "optimism, strength and humility," Bush pointed out, "epitomized the American spirit."

His "courage and determination," the president said, had "enhanced America's security and advanced the spread of peace, liberty and democracy to millions of people who had lived in darkness and oppression."

Bush asked the American people "to pay homage to the memory of President Reagan" on June 11, adding that he invites "the people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance."

Reagan's leadership as chief executive "has left us stronger and better," Bush declared, noting the former president "has left us for a better place, the shining city that awaits him."

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