By the President of the United States of America
It has been a national tradition since the end of the Civil War to remember on Memorial Day the men and women of America who fought and died on the battlefield. We owe them a debt that can never be annulled. Their sacrifice endowed us with liberty and made our country a leader among nations.
But on this day of mourning and of homage to the heroes of the past, let us also remember the duty we owe to coming generations to be firm in the cause of liberty.
This past year we have had abundant proof that American courage still lives-eight Americans gave up their lives and others were seriously injured in the attempt to free their fellow Americans held hostage in Iran. We can take pride in our concern for national honor and in the firmness and restraint with which Americans face crises. Mindful of our historic duty, we have become even more determined to defend our interests, protect our liberties, and promote our ideals. At the same time, we remain firmly committed to working with other nations to solve world problems together and to strengthen the foundations of world peace.
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, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 1980, 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 first day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty, and of the Independence of the United-States of America the two hundred and fourth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 1:22 p.m., May 1, 1980]