[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book II)]
[August 28, 1993]
[Page 1402]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 1402]]

Statement on the 30th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs 
and Freedom
August 28, 1993

    On this day 30 years ago, almost a quarter million Americans 
gathered in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial to ask our Nation to 
uphold its founding ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity for 
    As he looked at the crowd, Martin Luther King, Jr., must have been 
inspired by what he saw: people of every color, united in mutual respect 
and common purpose, representing America as it was meant to be and as it 
must be. In the words of A. Philip Randolph, whose vision of a 
multiracial movement for social justice inspired this historic 
demonstration, those who marched on August 28, 1963, were ``the advance 
guard of a massive moral revolution for jobs and freedom.''
    Three decades later, we remember how far we have come on freedom's 
trail, and we rededicate ourselves to completing the journey. As a son 
of the South, I have seen in my own lifetime how racism held all of us 
down and how the civil rights movement set all of us free. We must never 
forget the hard-earned lesson that America can only move forward when we 
move forward together.
    That is why we rededicate ourselves to vigorous enforcement of the 
civil rights laws, to eradicating discrimination of every kind, and to 
opposing intolerance in all its forms. And we firmly believe that, as 
such visionary leaders as Martin Luther King, A. Philip Randolph, and 
Bayard Rustin understood three decades ago, jobs and freedom are 
inextricably linked. Human dignity demands that each of us have the 
opportunity to use our God-given abilities, to support ourselves and our 
families, and to produce something of value for our fellow men and 
    In everything we do, we are guided by that vision of economic 
empowerment. That is why we have struggled to lift the working poor out 
of poverty. That is why we have struggled to expand the opportunities 
for education, training, and national service. That is why we have 
struggled to bring new jobs, new opportunities, and new hope to 
communities all across this country, from our smallest towns to our 
oldest cities. That is why we will spare no effort to provide every 
family in America with health care they can count on, health care that's 
always there. And as we pursue the timeless goals of opportunity for all 
and responsibility for all, let us follow the example of those who 
marched 30 years ago and work together, regardless of race or region or 
religion or party.
    As we honor the past and build the future, let us listen again to 
the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., ``Now is the time to make real the 
promises of democracy . . . now is the time to make justice a reality 
for all God's children.'' Together, we can make that dream a reality. 
Together, we can make the country we love everything it was meant to be.