Statement on Signing a Bill Conferring United States Citizenship Posthumously on Wladyslaw Staniszewski

October 15, 1984

I am pleased to sign into law H.R. 960, which confers citizenship posthumously on Cpl. Wladyslaw Staniszeswki, a national of Great Britain, who was killed in action on July 7, 1967, in the Republic of Vietnam while serving in the United States Marine Corps.

Corporal Staniszewski, who had immigrated to Brockton, MA, acted as an American when he willingly served the United States in a place of peril. He made the supreme sacrifice under our nation's colors and for our country. Today we simply confirm what Corporal Staniszewski earned on July 7, 1967.

Corporal Staniszewski has focused the Nation's attention on a matter we have overlooked far too long. At least 462 noncitizen servicemen from 64 countries sacrificed their lives in Vietnam. Among these was Lance Cpl. Jose Francisco Jimeniz of Mexico, who was awarded the Medal of Honor in upholding the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Each was truly an American, and every one earned the right to be an American.

We cannot repay these men for their sacrifice, valor, or patriotism; but it is only right that we bestow upon each of them our nation's greatest honor: American citizenship.

It is my intention to submit to the 99th Congress legislation which will provide United States citizenship for all noncitizens killed in action in Vietnam while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 960 is Private Law 98 - 33, approved October 15.