[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book II)]
[November 26, 1994]
[Pages 2125-2126]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 2125]]

The President's Radio Address
November 26, 1994

    Good morning, and a happy Thanksgiving weekend to all of you. To the 
millions of Americans who have traveled to be with loved ones during 
this special time of year, I wish you a safe and peaceful journey home. 
We Americans have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
    On behalf of all of our citizens, I want to begin by thanking our 
brave service men and women who are so many miles from home this 
Thanksgiving, serving our country with honor overseas, in every corner 
of the world and especially those who are working at restoring democracy 
in Haiti and keeping the peace in the Persian Gulf.
    This is the first Thanksgiving since the dawn of the nuclear age 
when parents can tuck their children into bed at night knowing that no 
Russian missiles are pointed at the children of the United States. The 
third largest nuclear power, Ukraine, has just agreed to eliminate all 
of its nuclear weapons, and they're being dismantled with our 
assistance. Just this week, the United States removed a major nuclear 
stockpile, enough for 20 nuclear devices from the former Soviet republic 
of Kazakhstan. And finally, we have concluded an agreement with North 
Korea to freeze and dismantle that country's ability to build nuclear 
    Over the past year, we've also been privileged to see the American 
dreams of freedom, democracy, and peace advanced with our support in the 
Middle East, in Northern Ireland, in South Africa, in Haiti, and Eastern 
and Central Europe, full of people who are making courageous efforts to 
escape the shackles of the past and realize their own dreams for 
    For America to remain strong, however, around the world, we know we 
have to be strong at home. Therefore, we must keep striving to keep our 
Government working again for ordinary Americans, to improve our economy, 
to give our people the chance to build a more prosperous and secure 
future in the 21st century.
    We're in the process of great changes, but we have more to do. We 
have 5 million more jobs than we had 22 months ago, but still too many 
people who never get a pay raise and who are losing their health 
benefits. We have more loans for middle class college students. But 
still there are too many who need more education all throughout their 
lives, including working people. We have a tough new crime bill, but 
there's a lot to do to make our streets safer.
    We've done things for working families like the family leave law and 
tax cuts for 15 million families who live on modest incomes. But there's 
still too much family breakup. There are too many children born where 
there were never families in the first place. There's a lot to be done 
    We're making great changes in our Government. It's smaller, it's 
more effective, but there is still more to be done before we liberate 
our National Government from the stranglehold of special interests.
    We must be thankful, with all of our challenges, for what's right 
with America. And we have to remember that the real strength of our 
country is still in the work of our citizens. They're the ones who keep 
our country strong, who keep us together, who keep us moving forward. 
They're what America is all about, people who take responsibility to 
improve their own lives and to make a difference in the lives of others.
    I'm committed to make your Government work for ordinary Americans 
again. Nobody wants Government on our backs, but we do need a strong, if 
limited, Government by our side. Everything we do in Washington should 
be as relevant and responsive to your lives as the work of those just 
around you.
    Consider the Americans who are fighting crime. Just last month, 
several strangers in New York City came to the rescue of a man who was 
being mugged and stabbed as he tried to use a bank teller machine. These 
brave heroes helped the victim to safety and then held the assailant 
down until police could come to make an arrest. Our new crime bill puts 
100,000 more police on the streets and takes military assault weapons 
off the streets, but we still need citizens like this to make our 
streets safe.
    Remember the Americans who are doing so much to help others. Every 
day thousands of members of our new domestic Peace Corps,

[[Page 2126]]

AmeriCorps, are working to make our people smarter, safer, and 
healthier. Out in rural Kansas, Nanci Ridge has been trained by 
AmeriCorps to give emergency medical assistance. Now every day she helps 
police or fire departments or teaches school kids safety. But she spent 
Thanksgiving fielding emergencies at the local county hospital, giving 
some of the regular staff the holiday off and keeping the country 
protected. That's what AmeriCorps is about; that's what America's about.
    And finally, let's think about the Americans who are doing so much 
to help our children live up to their God-given potential. Five years 
ago in Buffalo, New York, Lloyd Hargrave helped start a parent resource 
center to get parents more involved in the education of their children. 
Today, the center offers nightly tutoring programs to help parents do a 
better job at helping their children learn. And the center lends 
computers to families that otherwise wouldn't have them in their homes.
    Working with children in that way is one of the most important 
things any of us can do to keep our country strong. Our Government can 
help, and we are. We're expanding Head Start, promoting programs in our 
schools like character education. But in the end, children need to know 
that adults care about them, that they're part of a loving family, a 
caring community. They need to be told by someone that they're the most 
important person in the world.
    So this holiday season as we count our blessings and face our 
challenges, let us commit ourselves to giving our children a future they 
can be thankful for every Thanksgiving for a long, long time.
    I hope you enjoy this holiday weekend, and thank you for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 10:29 a.m. on November 25 in the 
Laurel Lodge at Camp David, MD, for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on November