Letter to the Family of the Late Senator Henry M. Jackson on the Launching of the U.S.S.Henry M. Jackson

October 15, 1983

Dear Mrs. Jackson, Anna Marie and Peter:

The launching of a Trident Submarine is indeed a special event. But when that submarine bears the name U.S.S. Henry M. Jackson the event has greatly added significance. This submarine will join other strategic missile submarines named for men of great character: George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Edison, Daniel Webster. Henry Jackson belongs among these Americans. This living vessel is a fitting monument to him. Statues and configurations of stone cannot carry on his life's work. However, the mighty ship you launch today will carry on his lifelong quest for peace for all mankind and security for our country.

Like Senator Jackson, those who built and will man the U.S.S. Henry M. Jackson, are content to do their job professionally and silently, foregoing greater material rewards they could claim in other fields. As with Senator Jackson, this ship's real achievement will not be in conquest but in restraint, not in waging war but in preserving peace.

The U.S.S. Henry M. Jackson through decades to come will be a constant reminder to the fleet and to all Americans of the virtues for which your husband and father stood: truth, peacefulness, strength and steadfastness. These were the personal traits which commanded our respect when he was alive. These are the qualities for which he will be remembered.

Nancy and I extend our every best wish,

Sincerely,

Ronald Reagan

Note: As printed above, this item follows the text of the White House press release.