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 the
Each year during the holiday season, Americans celebrate the promise of
renewal and the possibilities of peace.
The dedicated efforts of our Armed
Forces enable us to enjoy these rich blessings, and I am honored to salute all
those who wear our country's uniform.
The hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and
Coast Guardsmen who are stationed around the world are a beacon of hope to
those striving to overcome hardship and oppression.
Your actions have helped
ease the suffering of millions both at home and abroad -- from Rwanda to Bosnia
I urge all Americans to recognize the sacrifices you have made for
the causes of democracy and human dignity.
As we celebrate this holy time of year, I offer special thanks to those of
you who cannot be with your loved ones.
Your friends, families and fellow
Americans are proud of your devotion to your country and to the defense of
I extend my deepest gratitude to the thousands of American service
members who work to preserve our country's security while keeping the peace
around the world.
You are truly a testament to America's greatness.
Hillary and I wish you all the best for the coming year.
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM J. PERRY
I'm very pleased at this most joyous of seasons to have this opportunity to
say a few words to American's soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
year especially, your service has brought new hopes that people throughout the
world will receive the promise of peace this season.
As we look back over this year, your list of humanitarian contributions is
You have brought food and water to starving people in Europe and Africa.
You have lent a helping hand to those in the Caribbean seeking freedom,
provided comfort for the Kurds in Northern Iraq,
accomplished successful missions over Bosnia, and all the while you have stood
guard over the security of our homeland.
These many and varied missions have taken some of you far away.
Many of you
will observe this holiday season away from your families, friends and home.
But you should know that you are in the thoughts of Americans everywhere at
They know of your contributions to securing the way of life all
of us hold so dear.
I'd like to say a special word to the families of our military.
contributions are no less than the contributions of those who wear the
While your sons and daughters, husbands and wives are
about the nation's business far from home, your support is vital to their
I'm pleased to relay the nation's thanks to you.
May God grant you every blessing in the new year.
Happy holidays to all of
GEN. JOHN M. SHALIKASHVILI
As 1994 draws to a close, take a moment to reflect on a momentous year of
worldwide involvement for our military forces.
You have given much of
Although these traditional holidays are times of great festivity,
their deeper meanings are found in the messages of renewal, hope, salvation and
Each of you -- active duty, reserve component, civilian and family members
-- has played an integral part in giving the greatest gifts possible to the
family of man around the globe.
You have presented gifts of peace, promise
and, in many situations, life itself to countless millions.
You have paid
for them with your unequaled dedication, selfless sacrifice and boundless
To cite a few examples of what you have done in 1994, you began the year
still in Somalia, offering a people torn by civil strife an opportunity to
grasp a future; you were involved in Bosnia-Herzegovina, protecting the
innocent and feeding the hungry; and you were shielding oppressed minorities
in Northern and Southern Iraq.
As the year progressed, you turned a rapidly
emerging disaster in Rwanda around, stopping disease and starvation in its
tracks; you rescued tens of thousands Haitians and Cubans who took to the sea
to escape from despotism in their countries; you returned the legitimately
elected government of the Haitian people to its rightful place; and you rushed
back to Kuwait to reinsure the victory won three years ago in Operation Desert
Some of these challenges are behind us now -- others are still with us
and even more are ahead.
Many of you will be with loved ones this holiday season.
For those deployed
or on watch away from your families, I hope your joyous time together will
come very soon.
To all of you who are serving your Nation and mankind so well, the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and I extend sincere thanks for your dedicated, untiring
Be proud of the part you have played and continue to play.
peace, good will, security and hope for a brighter future that you provide are
among those things most cherished by your fellow man.
May this holiday season bring each of you and your families the richest of
blessings and joy.