May 23, 1952, Memorial Day Statement.

Memorial Day has been traditionally a day of prayer for those Americans who have died in the defense of their country. On May 23, 1950, pursuant to a joint resolution of the Congress, I proclaimed each succeeding Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and suggested 11 o’clock in the morning, eastern standard time, as an appropriate time for each American, according to his own religious faith, to beg Divine aid in bringing enduring peace to a troubled world.

I believe that this year enduring peace is more nearly attainable than a year ago. This is so because our strength and the strength of other free Nations has steadily grown. Our strength and determination to remain free are leading to peace.

On this Memorial Day we should again pay tribute to the men who, by their supreme sacrifice, have helped maintain our freedom in the rugged hills of Korea and, before that, in the great wars when all mankind was threatened with enslavement. We should pay tribute to them especially because they have shown that aggression cannot pay off. They have thereby given the world a vision and a promise of lasting peace. We must not let these men down now that the goal is so nearly attainable.

I have asked before, and I ask again, that the press, radio, television, and other media of public information help unite the Nation on the morning of Memorial Day in a universal prayer for permanent peace.

Distance view of President Truman attending the burial of twenty soldiers at the Arlington National Cemetery. These twenty were the first war dead, returned to be buried in their native land, 10/30/1947.
Credit: National Archives.
Distance view of President Truman attending the burial of twenty soldiers at the Arlington National Cemetery. These twenty were the first war dead, returned to be buried in their native land, 10/30/1947. Credit: National Archives.

President Truman lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, 11/11/1947.
Credit: National Archives.
President Truman lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery., 11/11/1947. Credit: National Archives.

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