Remarks at the
Reagan. I'm greatly honored, and this means a very great deal to me personally.
You know, for the last 8 years, I've had a unique opportunity to witness the extraordinary compassion of the American people -- people like each of you, like each of you have for those who are less fortunate. So, let me just say that, really, this award belongs to the millions of American volunteers -- to the parents and children involved in the 15,000 Just Say No programs around the country, and the 24,000 men and women participating in the Foster Grandparent Program, to the doctors and others working with the Gift of Life Program, and to all of those who have worked so long for the Special Olympics, and to so many, many giving and generous people. So, on their behalf, I very gratefully accept this award. Thank you very much.
The President. I'm honored more than
you can know to receive this year's Humanitarian Award from the
Those monsters who made the Holocaust -- they chose death, with results almost too awful to grasp. The mind reels from the enormity of the crime. It begs to be set free from so terrible a fact, to wipe it from the memory. But people like Simon Wiesenthal have made us understand that we must not, we cannot, and we will not. His life is testimony to his unwavering commitment to do honor to those who burned in the flames of the Holocaust by bringing their murderers and the accomplices of their murderers to the justice of a civilized world that, after, still reels in astonishment and disgust. And I salute him on his 80th birthday, as do we all.
out of the ashes of the Holocaust there came a good thing, a great thing,
called the State of Israel. And like Simon Wiesenthal, the animating principles
of the State of Israel are justice and law tempered with compassion -- yes, the
very principles of Judaism itself. And we Americans, with our Judeo-Christian
heritage, have no better friends than the people of
acknowledge this truth, and our administration has made the ties that bind us
warmer than they have ever been. In the last 5 years, we initiated an
unprecedented strategic understanding with the State of Israel. We negotiated a
free-trade area between our two countries. Most important, perhaps, we promised
that we would not permit
must defend ourselves against the evil of totalitarianism. We must follow his
example and never waver in our pursuit of justice, never waver in our pursuit
of resolve. We must remain strong, and we must be willing to use force when
we're under threat. This is a lesson that binds us still closer to the State of
Israel, for the fact is: a strong
same strength and resolve coupled with diplomatic vision and a commitment to
political reconciliation are essential if
as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kristallnacht,
that dreadful night in 1938 when Hitler's plan for the Jews began to take its
final shape, we vow to be vigilant in our battle against those who would follow
Hitler's example. This is our cause. To further it, I will presently sign the
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and so,
Thank you again, and may God bless you all.
Note: Mrs. Reagan spoke
at in the