Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 6.djvu/688

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106 STAT. 5246 PROCLAMATION 6421—APR. 14, 1992 Proclamation 6421 of April 14, 1992 Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., 1992 By the President of the United states of America A Proclamation The American work force of tomorrow will face unprecedented challenges and opportunities in our increasingly interdependent, technological world. How well our students are prepared to meet them will determine not only their ability to succeed as individuals but also the economic competitiveness of our entire Nation. Indeed, our future standard of living will depend heavily on the standards that we set in education today. That is why we are pressing ahead with AMERICA 2000, our comprehensive strategy to achieve excellence in our schools. While AMERICA 2000 constitutes a vital investment in the future of the United States, we know that a nation's quality of life depends on much more than worker productivity and economic competitiveness alone. It also depends on the standards of character and conduct that are upheld and cherished by society, since these, in turn, determine the degree of freedom, opportunity, and security enjoyed by each member. Thus, as we focus on excellence in American education, we must also recognize the importance of moral instruction. As the parent of private virtue and civil order, moral education is vital to the healthy development of our children and to the continued strength and well-being of our Nation. When he took office. President Dwight Eisenhower urged Americans to "proclaim anew" the faith on which the United States is founded. "It is our faith in the deathless dignity of man, governed by eternal moral and natural laws." This challenging yet ennobling view of humankind stands at the heart of America's commitment to freedom, equality, and justice. As President Eisenhower noted, it defines our full view of life. We cannot, therefore, overestimate the importance of education that fosters ethical and moral values in keeping with what our Founders called the "laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Moral education is the means by which we preserve the very foundation of this Nation's great yet precious experiment in self-government. Public as well as private institutions of learning have both an obligation and a proper interest in advancing principles of ethical conduct and moral virtue. In recent years, we have seen how some "value-neutral" curricula have exploited America's long-cherished commitment to diversity and tolerance by avoiding the teaching of values. By contrast, teachers who affirm the absolute reality of truth and the timeless, universal value of qualities such as honesty, compassion, and personal accountability help their students to develop a sound inner compass. Although school has a role to play in providing direction to our youth, moral education begins at home, in the guidance that parents provide for their children, and in religious institutions, where we learn of our just and loving Creator and of the commandments that He has set before us. Recognizing that "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," members of the worldwide Lubavitch movement, under the leadership of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, have worked to promote greater knowledge of Divine law, including the Biblical injunction to assist those who are needy. Like the Psalmist who wrote.