New Year's Messages of President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev
President Reagan's Message
evening. This is Ronald Reagan, President of the
know that in the
Most of us celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, and as part of those celebrations, we go to church or synagogue, then gather around the family dinner table. After giving thanks for our blessings, we share a traditional holiday meal of goose, turkey, or roast beef and exchange gifts. On New Year's Eve we gather again, and like you, we raise our glasses in a toast to the year to come, to our hopes for ourselves, for our families, and yes, for our nation and the world.
This year, the future of the Nation and the world is particularly on our minds. We're thinking of our nation, because in the year ahead, we Americans will choose our next President. Every adult citizen has a role to play in the making of this decision. We will listen to what the candidates say. We will debate their views and our own. And in November we will vote. I'll still be President next January, but soon after that, the man or woman leading our country will be the one the American people pick this coming November.
I said, we Americans will also be thinking about the future of the world this
year -- for the same reasons that you'll be thinking of it, too. In a few
months, General Secretary Gorbachev and I hope to meet once again, this time in
The General Secretary and I also anticipate continuing our talks about other issues of deep concern to our peoples -- for example, the expansion of contact between our peoples and more information flowing across our borders. Expanding contacts and information will require decisions about life at home that will have an impact on relations abroad.
This is also true in the area of human rights. As you know, we Americans are concerned about human rights, including freedoms of speech, press, worship, and travel. We will never forget that a wise man has said that: ``Violence does not live alone and is not capable of living alone. It is necessarily interwoven with falsehood.'' Silence is a form of falsehood. We will always speak out on behalf of human dignity.
We Americans are also concerned, as I know you are, about senseless conflicts in a number of regions. In some instances, regimes backed by foreign military power are oppressing their own peoples, giving rise to popular resistance and the spread of fighting beyond their borders. Too many mothers, including Soviet mothers, have wept over the graves of their fallen sons. True peace means not only preventing a big war but ending smaller ones, as well. This is why we support efforts to find just, negotiated solutions acceptable to the peoples who are suffering in regional wars.
There is no such thing as inevitability in history. We can choose to make the world safer and freer if we have courage -- but then courage is something neither of our peoples have ever lacked. We have been allies in a terrible war, a war in which the Soviet peoples gave the ages an enduring testament to courage. Let us consecrate this year to showing not courage for war but courage for peace. We owe this to mankind. We owe it to our children and their children and generations to come.
Happy New Year! Thank you, and God bless you.
General Secretary Gorbachev's Message
Ladies and gentleman, friends, as we celebrate the New Year, I am glad to address the citizens of the United States of America and to convey to you season's greetings and best wishes from all Soviet people.
first of January is a day when we take stock of the past year and try to look
ahead into the coming year. The past year, 1987, ended with an event which can
be regarded as a good omen. In
are ready to continue, fruitfully, the negotiations on reducing strategic arms
with a view to signing a treaty to that effect even in the first half of this
year. We would like, without delay, to address the problem of cutting back
drastically conventional forces and arms in
I think it can be said that one of the features of the past year was the growing mutual interest our two peoples took in each other. Contacts between Soviet and American young people, war veterans, scientists, teachers, astronauts, businessmen, and cultural leaders have expanded greatly. Like thousands of strands, those contacts are beginning to weave into what I would call a tangible fabric of trust and growing mutual understanding. It is the duty of Soviet and American political leaders to keep in mind the sentiment of the people in their countries and to reflect their will in political decisions.
The Soviet people are getting down to work in the New Year with an awareness of their great responsibility for the present and for the future. There will be profound changes in our country along the lines of continued perestroika, democratization, and radical economic reform. In the final analysis, all this will let us move on to a broad avenue of accelerated development.
know that you Americans have quite a few problems, too. In grappling with those
problems, however, I feel that both you and we must remember what is truly
crucial: Human life is equally priceless, whether in the
and gentlemen, during the official departure ceremony in
concluding this New Year address to the people of the
Note: The President's
message was recorded at on