April 16, 1982
By the President of the United States of America
Since the end of the Civil War, Memorial Day has been the time when we honor the American men and women who gave up their lives on the field of battle. We do this in recognition of the enormous sacrifice they have made to preserve our liberty and, also, of the responsibility we bear to transmit liberty to future generations.
Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember that those who died in the defense of our country were serving an even higher cause. For all through our history, America has been a beacon to other peoples, serving as a source of political inspiration, a haven for the poor and oppressed, and a friend to nations in distress. Today, as so often in the past, we stand as a guarantor of peace. In full accord with our national ideals and responsibilities, we are prepared to assist countries threatened by economic upheaval or international violence. And we stand ready to work together with other nations to remove the sources of conflict and insecurity and build a firm foundation for peace in the future.
In recognition of those Americans to whom we pay tribute today, the Congress, by joint resolution of May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), has requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 1982, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 o’clock in the morning of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance.
I also request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the appropriate officials of all local units of government to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff during this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control, and I request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 16th day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:14 a.m., April 19, 1982]