Proclamation 5093 -- National Day of Mourning, Sunday, September 11, 1983

September 9, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

To the People of the United States:

September 1, 1983, will be seared in the minds of civilized people everywhere as the night of the Korean Air Lines Massacre. Two hundred sixty-nine innocent men, women and children, from 13 different countries, who were flying aboard KAL flight 007, were stalked, then shot out of the air and sent crashing to their deaths by a missile aimed and fired by the Soviet Union.

Good and decent people everywhere are filled with revulsion by this despicable deed, and by the refusal of the guilty to tell the truth. This was a crime against humanity that must never be forgotten, here or throughout the world.

We open our hearts in prayer to the victims and their families. We earnestly beseech Almighty God to minister to them in their trial of grief, sorrow, and pain.

In their memory, we ask all people who cherish individual rights, and who believe each human life is sacred, to come together in a shared spirit of wisdom, unity, courage, and love, so the world can prevent such an inhuman act from ever happening again.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in tribute to the memory of the slain passengers of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, and as an expression of public sorrow, do hereby appoint Sunday, September 11, 1983, to be a National Day of Mourning throughout the United States. I recommend that the people assemble on that day in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of those who died. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of September, 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 eighth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:04 p.m., September 9, 1983]

Note: The President signed the proclamation in a ceremony in the Oval Office at the White House.