Proclamations, June 14, 1985

Proclamation 5351 -- Family Reunion Month, 1985

June 14, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Family reunions are occasions that renew the feelings of love, pride, and support that nurture our lives. There is no more joyous and poignant family reunion than the return to the family of a child who has run away from home.

The number of young people between the ages of 10 and 17 who ran away from home last year is estimated at more than one million. The heartache of such a breakdown in family relationships is incalculable. But for many thousands of families, the joy of reunion was realized with the return of a son or daughter and a resolution of the conditions that precipitated the flight of the child.

In all likelihood, the return was aided by one of the professionals and volunteers who staff runaway shelters throughout the country. Last year alone, some 200,000 young Americans and their families received counseling aimed at resolving family conflicts and pressures. Almost half the young people who sought help were returned safely to their homes.

Much remains to be done, and all of us can play a role. Volunteers are needed to help staff crisis intervention programs. Parents themselves must recognize the importance of keeping open lines of communications with their children and strive to strengthen family relationships.

Families are the cornerstone of America. All of America's families should be encouraged to continue strengthening their ties through gatherings and activities such as family reunions that involve as many members as possible.

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 64, has designated the period between Mother's Day, May 12, and Father's Day, June 16, 1985, as ``Family Reunion Month'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this period.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the period between May 12 and June 16, 1985, as Family Reunion Month. I call upon all Americans to celebrate this period with appropriate ceremonies and activities and recognition of the resources available to help strengthen families.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:55 a.m., June 17, 1985]

Proclamation 5352 -- Baltic Freedom Day, 1985

June 14, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the United States non-recognition policy by which our government refuses to recognize the forcible Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. It has been 45 years since the dark year of 1940 when invading Soviet armies, in collusion with the Nazi regime, overran these three independent Baltic Republics.

The atrocious character of the Soviet oppression was shockingly illustrated by the imprisonment, deportation, and murder of close to 100,000 Balts during a four-day reign of terror June 14 - 17, 1941. The suffering of this brutal period was made even worse when Nazi forces struck back through these three states at the beginning of the Nazi-Soviet war and instituted a civil administration under control of the nefarious Gestapo. Due to Soviet and Nazi tyranny, by the end of World War II, the Baltic nations had lost twenty percent of their total population.

Today, suppression and persecution are the daily burdens of the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian people. Soviet policies are specifically targeted toward the very ethnic life and historical heritage of the Baltic nations. Russification takes place under many guises: forced relocation, expanded colonization by Russian immigrants, and heavy pressure against the indigenous religious, cultural, and social traditions.

Yet despite this crushing system, the Baltic peoples courageously continue to resist amalgamation by pressing for their national, political, and religious rights. Peaceful expression of demands through the underground press, petitions to government officials, demonstrations, the activities of the Catholic Church and other religious denominations, Helsinki monitoring groups, and committees to defend the rights of religious believers command the admiration of everyone who loves and honors freedom.

Significantly, the defense of national and personal rights is led not by those who grew up during the years of independence, but by a new generation born and raised under the Soviet system. The message of these heroes, both young and old, is: ``You, our free brothers and sisters, are our voice to the free world. You must not cease to inform the world of what is being inflicted upon us here behind the Iron Curtain, for it is from your efforts that we get our strength to survive.''

All the people of the United States of America share the aspirations of the Baltic nations for national independence. The United States upholds their rights to determine their own national destiny, free of foreign interference. For 45 years, the United States has not recognized the forcible incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union, and it will not do so in the future.

The Congress of the United States, by Senate Joint Resolution 66, has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation for the observance of June 14, 1985, as ``Baltic Freedom Day.''

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 1985, as Baltic Freedom Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and to reaffirm their commitment to the principles of liberty and freedom for all oppressed people.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:56 a.m., June 17, 1985]

Proclamation 5353 -- Flag Day and National Flag Week, 1985

June 14, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

The history of the flag of the United States presents in capsule form the history of our Nation. Although there was a great variety of colorful and interesting flags during the Colonial period, it was not until June 14, 1777, two years after the Battle of Bunker Hill, that the delegates at the Continental Congress adopted the familiar design we know today. They voted ``that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.''

Since 1777, the flag of our Nation has been redesigned periodically to reflect the admission of new States. It has flown over our public buildings, our town squares, and many private homes. It has been carried proudly into battle, and our national anthem gives a dramatic account of the hope and inspiration it has given to many Americans. Today, it is the leading symbol of the Nation we love and an emblem recognized around the world as a sign of our unity and devotion to freedom.

To commemorate the adoption of our flag, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved August 3, 1949 (63 Stat. 492), designated June 14 of each year as Flag Day and requested the President to issue an annual proclamation calling for its observance and the display of the flag of the United States on all government buildings. The Congress also requested the President, by a joint resolution of June 9, 1966 (80 Stat. 194), to issue annually a proclamation designating the week in which June 14 occurs as National Flag Week and calling upon all citizens of the United States to display the flag during that week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim June 14, 1985, as Flag Day and the week beginning June 9, 1985, as National Flag Week, and I direct the appropriate officials of the government to display the flag on all government buildings during that week. I urge all Americans to observe Flag Day, June 14, and Flag Week by flying the Stars and Stripes from their homes and other suitable places.

I also urge the American people to celebrate those days from Flag Day through Independence Day, set aside by Congress as a time to honor America (89 Stat. 211), by having public gatherings and activities at which they can honor their country in an appropriate manner.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 14th day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:16 a.m., June 17, 1985]