President Bush Signs the President Proclamation Designating the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and the Presidential Proclamation in Honor of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2008

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. I am going to sign two documents — one a Pearl Harbor Day proclamation, and the other creating the World War II Valor in Pacific National Monument. The National Monument will include nine sites — five in Hawaii, three in Alaska, and one in California at the Tule Lake Segregation Center, which was where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II.

The purpose of the monument is to remind generations of Americans of the sacrifices that Americans made to protect our country. But there’s a broader purpose, as well, and that is to remind generations of Americans about the transformative effect of freedom.

One of the great stories during World War II was that people fought bitterly to defend our country and way of life, and then worked to help our enemies develop democracies according to their own cultures and their own history. And today, I am so pleased to report that Japan is a strong ally of the United States of America — an ally in defending our liberties and an ally in spreading liberty as the great ideological alternative to an enemy that still wants to do us harm.

And so this monument will help people realize the breadth and the history of World War II and its aftermath.

So I’m pleased to sign both documents, and I want to thank our distinguished visitors for joining me.

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