Important Presidential Announcement

reported by Randy Lewis
Backlash White House correspondent

Copyright 1996 by Randy Lewis

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
August 1, 1996

The Oval Office
10:06 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Every day, the World's peace is shattered by war and the fear it provokes are crippling our world, limiting our personal freedom, and fraying the ties that bind us. No corner of the World, it often seems, is safe from increasing levels of war. And more and more, war create random targets of assaults stemming from a serious breakdown of values of families and communities.

National Take Your Daughters to War Week is a time when our Nation pauses to seriously reflect on these innocent victims of war and on those who are working all across this country in their behalf and the need to train women equally as we have been requiring men. Thousands of people -- many of them volunteers who have been victims themselves -- are tirelessly striving at the Federal, State, and local levels to provide emotional support, guidance, and financial assistance to create equality between the sexes.

It is essential to our national security to continue the Selective Service System. While tangible military requirements alone do not currently make a mass call-up of American young women likely, however, there are three reasons I believe we should maintain both the SS and the draft registration requirement for women.

First, the President stated that the SS and female registration provide "...a hedge against unforeseen threats and a relatively low cost insurance policy' against our underestimating the maximum level of threat we expect our Armed Forces to face."

Next, "...terminating the SS and draft registration now could send the wrong signal to our potential enemies who are watching for signs of U.S. resolve."

And finally, " fewer and fewer members of our society have direct military experience, it is increasingly important to maintain the link between the All Volunteer Force and our society at large. The Armed Forces must also know that the general population stands behind them, committed to serve, should the preservation of our national security so require."

The NSC review leading to the President's decision has been conducted since January and consisted of representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the DoD Inspector General, the Joint Staff, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Office of Management and Budget and the Selective Service System.

Those who give of themselves to assist in the addition of more women in the military are helping immeasurably in this effort. They are there for their neighbors. They are there to provide comfort when someone has lost a child to a minor border skirmish or when the sanctity of someone's country has been invaded by an intruder.

I encourage women across the Nation to take responsibility and be held accountable for the country in which they live. We must encourage women to cooperate with with the Selective Service process and register for the draft. This includes working towards initiatives that would require mandatory registration, such as males in this country currently face.

Women promise to be a source of untapped potential for even more draftees in our cities and towns. In fact, thousands will be making their presence felt this summer in our national "Take Your Daughter to War Week." The problem of the lack of responsibility by women is a problem for all Americans. It is not a partisan issue. Strong pro-victim measures must be enacted in order to give our children a brighter future.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, HILLARY R. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week of August 24 through August 30, 1996, as Take Your Daughters to War Week.

I urge all Americans to join in remembering the innocent victims of war and in honoring those whose men have served selflessly in behalf of their country. We must recommit ourselves to drafting women and to ensure safer streets, schools, and playgrounds for our Nation's children and for all of our citizens.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.


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