December 31, 1999

                                 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT of USA
                                AT AMERICA'S MILLENNIUM GALA

                                       The Lincoln Memorial

     11:53 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we celebrate. The change of centuries, the
     dawning of a new millennium are now just minutes away. We celebrate the past. We have honored
     America's remarkable achievements, struggles, and triumphs in the 20th century. We celebrate the
     future, imagining an even more remarkable 21st century.

     As we marvel at the changes of the last hundred years, we dream of what changes the next hundred,
     and the next thousand, will bring. And as powerful as our memories are, our dreams must be even
     stronger. For when our memories outweigh our dreams we become old, and it is the eternal destiny
     of America to remain forever young, always reaching beyond, always becoming, as our founders
     pledged, a more perfect union. So we Americans must not fear change. Instead, let us welcome it,
     embrace it, and create it.

     The great story of the 20th century is the triumph of freedom and free people, a story told in the
     drama of new immigrants, the struggles for equal rights, the victories over totalitarianism, the
     stunning advances in economic well-being, in culture, in health, in space and telecommunications,
     and in building a world in which more than half the people live under governments of their own
     choosing, for the first time in all history. We must never forget the meaning of the 20th century, or the
     gifts of those who worked and marched, who fought and died, for the triumph of freedom.

     So as we ring in this new year, in a new century, in a new millennium, we must, now and always,
     echo Dr. King, in the words of the old American hymn, "Let freedom ring." (Applause.)

     If the story of the 20th century is the triumph of freedom, what will the story of the 21st century be?
     Let it be the triumph of freedom wisely used, to bring peace to a world in which we honor our
     differences, and even more, our common humanity. Such a triumph will require great efforts from us
     all. It will require us to stand against the forces of hatred and bigotry, terror and destruction. It will
     require us to continue to prosper, to alleviate poverty, to better balance the demands of work and
     family, and to serve each of us in our communities.

     It will require us to take better care of our environment. It will require us to make further
     breakthroughs in science and technology, to cure dread diseases, heal broken bodies, lengthen life,
     and unlock secrets from global warming to the black holes in the universe. And, perhaps most
     important, it will require us to share -- with our fellow Americans and, increasingly, with our fellow
     citizens of the world, the economic benefits of globalization; the political benefits of democracy and
     human rights; the educational and health benefits of all things modern, from the Internet to the
     genetic encyclopedia, to the mysteries beyond our solar system.

     Now, we may not be able to eliminate all hateful intolerance, but we can develop a healthy
     intolerance of bigotry, oppression, and abject poverty. We may not be able to eliminate all the harsh
     consequences of globalization, but we can communicate more and travel more and trade more, in a
     way that lifts the lives of ordinary working families everywhere, and the quality of our global

     We may not be able to eliminate all the failures of government and international institutions, but we
     can certainly strengthen democracy so all children are prepared for the 21st century world and
     protected from its harshest side effects. And we can do so much more to work together, to
     cooperate among ourselves, to seize the problems and the opportunities of this ever small planet
     we all call home. In short, if we want the story of the 21st century to be the triumph of peace and
     harmony, we must embrace our common humanity and our shared destiny.

     Now, we're just moments from that new millennium. Two centuries ago, as the framers were crafting
     our Constitution, Benjamin Franklin was often seen in Independence Hall looking at a painting of the
     sun low on the horizon. When, at long last, the Constitution finally was signed, Mr. Franklin, said: "I
     have often wondered whether that sun was rising or setting. Today I have the happiness to know it is
     a rising sun."

     Well, two centuries later, we know the sun will always rise on America, as long as each new
     generation lights the fire of freedom. Our children are ready. So, again, the torch is passed -- to a
     new century of young Americans! (Applause.)

     END 11:59 P.M. EST

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