April 9, 1982 By the President of the United States
In all of the wars which America has fought, few of our citizens have been called upon to make the sacrifices and endure the hardships of those who were held captive. The American men, women and children who were incarcerated at Cabanatuan prisoner of war camp in the Philippine Islands during World War II suffered cruel and inhumane treatment, resulting in over three thousand deaths between May 1942 and February 1945.
The Congress has, by House Joint Resolution 435, requested me to designate April 12, 1982, as ``American Salute to Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Memorial Day.'' We all should recognize the special debt owed to our fellow citizens who, while defending the ideals for which this great Nation stands, endured treatment which exhibited complete disregard for the most basic sense of compassion, moral standards and international obligations. Theirs was a lonely and painful experience with which few can associate. We should also remember the families of those prisoners who died at Cabanatuan, for the sorrow of their loss is a daily burden.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate April 12, 1982, the fortieth anniversary of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor, as ``American Salute to Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Memorial Day,'' a day dedicated to those former captives held at Cabanatuan, to those who died there and to their families. I call on all Americans to join in honoring those who made the painful sacrifice of being held captive in war and their loved ones.
And I call on State and local officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:23 a.m., April 12, 1982]
Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on April 12.