THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release December 29, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today I am pleased to sign S. 3181, the "National Moment of
Remembrance Act," which designates 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day
each year as the National Moment of Remembrance, in honor of the men and
women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.
The Act also establishes a White House Commission on the National Moment of
Remembrance, to coordinate and encourage commemorative events on Memorial
Day each year, and a Remembrance Alliance, to assist the Commission in
promoting the observance of the Memorial Day holiday and organizing an
annual White House Conference on the National Moment of Remembrance.
Each Memorial Day, the Nation honors those Americans who died while
defending our Nation and its values. While these heroes should be honored
every day for their profound contri-bution to securing our Nation's
freedom, they and their families should be especially honored on Memorial
Day. The observance of a National Moment of Remembrance is a simple and
unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect
This Act recognizes in law a commemoration begun on Memorial Day in
May 1997, when "Taps" was played at 3:00 p.m. on many radio and television
stations across the Nation as Americans paused to remember the men and
women who have lost their lives in service to our country. This past May,
both a Congressional Resolution and a Presidential Proclamation called for
the observance of a National Moment of Remembrance. It is my hope that the
establishment of the National Moment of Remembrance in law, along with the
creation of the White House Commission, will promote greater understanding
of the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday for all Americans.
In signing this Act, I note that the Appointments Clause of the
Constitution requires that all Federal officers exercising executive
authority be appointed in conformity with that Clause.
Because the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution -- who would be a
member of the Commission -- is not so appointed, he may not exercise
significant governmental authority on the Commission but may directly
participate in the ceremonial or advisory functions of the Commission.
Moreover, because the members of the Remembrance Alliance are not appointed
in conformity with the Appointments Clause, they must remain under the
supervision of the Commission, and I interpret the Act to establish such a
relationship between the two bodies.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 28, 2000.
# # #