Proclamations, March 21, 1983

Proclamation 5034 -- Afghanistan Day, 1983

March 21, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The tragedy of Afghanistan continues as the valiant and courageous Afghan freedom fighters persevere in standing up against the brutal power of the Soviet invasion and occupation. The Afghan people are struggling to reclaim their freedom, which was taken from them when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979.

In this three-year period the Soviet Union has been unable to subjugate Afghanistan. The Soviet forces are pitted against an extraordinary people who, in their determination to preserve the character of their ancient land, have organized an effective and still spreading country-wide resistance. The resistance of the Afghan freedom fighters is an example to all the world of the invincibility of the ideals we in this country hold most dear, the ideals of freedom and independence.

We must also recognize that the sacrifices required to maintain this resistance are very high. Millions have gone into exile as refugees. We will probably never know the numbers of people killed and maimed, poisoned and gased, of the homes that have been destroyed, and of the lives that have been shattered and stricken with grief.

It is, therefore, incumbent upon us as Americans to reflect on the events in Afghanistan, to think about the agony which these brave people bear, and to maintain our condemnation of the continuing Soviet occupation. Our observance again this year of Afghanistan Day on March 21, the Afghan New Year, will recall for all the world America's unflagging sympathy for a determined people, its support for their refugees and commitment to achieving a political settlement for Afghanistan which will free that country from tyranny's yoke.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 65, has designated March 21, 1983 as ``Afghanistan Day'' and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that day.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate March 21, 1983 as Afghanistan Day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:10 p.m., March 24, 1983]

Note: The proclamation was not issued in the form of a White House press release.

Proclamation 5033 -- National Eye Donor Month, 1983

March 21, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

One of the most magnificent presents that one human being can bestow upon another is the gift of sight. Incredible as it may seem, it is within the power of each of us to give this precious gift simply by making arrangements to donate our eyes after death.

Thanks to advances in eye research, donor eyes can be stored and the preserved corneal tissues transplanted into the eyes of people who would otherwise be unable to see the beautiful and exciting world in which we live.

Each year some 30,000 people lose vision because their corneas have been damaged by injury, disease, or an inherited condition. Where the cornea has become so clouded that vision is lost, sight usually can be restored through a replacement cornea provided by a cornea donor.

Tragically, some visually impaired people who could benefit from this operation cannot be helped because suitable corneal tissue is not always available when needed. Donor eyes are also needed for vision research so that we may learn more about how this organ functions and develop ways to prevent and treat the many disorders which threaten sight.

It is appropriate that we as a Nation encourage eye donations and increase public awareness of the need for such donations. By filling out a uniform donor card and carrying it, we may give the gift of sight to people who now suffer from corneal blindness and benefit others from eye research.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 15, has designated March 1983 as ``National Eye Donor Month'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that month.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of March 1983 as ``National Eye Donor Month.'' I urge all citizens, health care professionals, educators, the media, and public and private organizations concerned with vision and vision research to join me in supporting this humanitarian action.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:16 p.m., March 21, 1983]