Remarks on the Departure of the United States Delegation to Funeral Services for President Anwar el-Sadat of Egypt in Cairo

October 8, 1981

On behalf of the country, I want to express a heartfelt thanks to Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter, and Mrs. Carter, for undertaking this sad mission. Their presence in Cairo will express to the Egyptian people the depth of America's grief and sorrow at the loss of a great leader and a beloved friend.

Today the American people stand beside the Egyptian people -- the people of a new nation with the people of an ancient land; people of the West with the people of the East. We stand together in mourning the loss of Anwar Sadat and rededicating ourselves to the cause for which he so willingly gave his life.

There are times, there are moments in history, when the martyrdom of a single life can symbolize all that's wrong with an age and all that is right about humanity. The noble remnants of such lives -- the spoken words of an Illinois lawyer who lived in this House, the dairy of a young Dutch schoolgirl, the final moments of a soldier-statesman from Mit Abu el-Qum -- can gain the force and power that endures and inspires and wins the ultimate triumph over the forces of violence, madness, and hatred.

Anwar Sadat, a man of peace in a time of violence, understood his age. In his final moments, as he had during all his days, he stood in defiance of the enemies of peace, the enemies of humanity. Today, those of us who follow him can do no less. And so to those who rejoice in the death of Anwar Sadat, to those who seek to set class against class, nation against nation, people against people, those who would choose violence over brotherhood and who prefer war over peace, let us stand in defiance and let our words of warning to them be clear: In life you feared Anwar Sadat, but in death you must fear him more. For the memory of this good and brave man will vanquish you. The meaning of his life and the cause for which he stood will endure and triumph.

Not too long ago, he was asked in an interview if he didn't fear the possibility of the kind of violence that has now just taken his life. And he said, ``I will not die 1 hour before God decides it is time for me to go.''

Again, a heartfelt thank you to these men here, these three who are making this mission on behalf of our country. I thank you, and if I may, in the language of my own ancestry, say: Until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Note: The President spoke at 7:15 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House. Prior to his remarks, the President and Mrs. Reagan met with former Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Jimmy Carter, and Mrs. Carter, in the Blue Room.

On the same day, the White House announced the members of the official U.S. Delegation to the funeral services. In addition to the three former Presidents and Mrs. Carter, they are:

Alexander M. Haig, Jr., Secretary of State (Head of Delegation)

Mrs. Patricia Haig

Caspar W. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, U.S. Representative to the United Nations

Gen. Edward C. Meyer, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army

Joseph W. Canzeri, Assistant to the President

Strom Thurmond, United States Senator

Charles H. Percy, United States Senator

Claiborne Pell, United States Senator

Jim Wright, Member of Congress

Clement J. Zablocki, Member of Congress

William S. Broomfield, Member of Congress

Lenore Annenberg, Chief of Protocol

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, former Secretary of State

Sol Linowitz, former Ambassador

Sam Brown, friend of President Sadat

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