National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 9, 2004
12:01 AM
CONTACT: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force 
Newsroom: 323-857-8751
 
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Closes Offices on June 11th in Memory of all those lost to AIDS
 

WASHINGTON - June 9 - On June 6, George W. Bush announced a federal government closure and a national day of mourning for former President Ronald Reagan on June 11 by saying in part: "All executive departments, independent establishments, and other governmental agencies shall be closed on June 11, 2004, as a mark of respect for Ronald Reagan... I call on the American people to assemble on that day [National Day of Mourning] in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President Reagan." (see full text of proclamation and executive order below)

The offices of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will be closed on Friday, June 11, 2004 in memory of all those we have lost to AIDS. (see Matt Foreman's open letter on the death of Ronald Reagan here.)

[note: in 1982, the Task Force hired the first lobbyist anywhere to specifically focus on AIDS issues, and in 1983 in coalition with other gay organizations, raises money and helps launch AIDS Action and the NORA (National Organizations Responding to AIDS) coalition. See more Task Force history here: http://www.thetaskforce.org/about/highlights.htm#1980]

Following is the text of President Bush's proclamation:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

(Sea Island, Georgia)

June 6, 2004

ANNOUNCING THE DEATH OF RONALD REAGAN

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES:

It is my sad duty to announce officially the death of Ronald Reagan, the fortieth President of the United States, on June 5, 2004.

We are blessed to live in a Nation, and a world, that have been shaped by the will, the leadership, and the vision of Ronald Reagan.

With an unshakable faith in the values of our country and the character of our people, Ronald Reagan renewed America's confidence and restored our Nation. His optimism, strength, and humility epitomized the American spirit. He always told us that for America the best was yet to come.

Ronald Reagan believed that God takes the side of justice and that America has a special calling to oppose tyranny and defend freedom. Through his courage and determination, he enhanced America's security and advanced the spread of peace, liberty, and democracy to millions of people who had lived in darkness and oppression. As America's President, Ronald Reagan helped change the world.

President Reagan has left us, but he has left us stronger and better. We take comfort in the knowledge that he has left us for a better place, the shining city that awaits him.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, in honor and tribute to the memory of Ronald Reagan, and as an expression of public sorrow, do hereby direct that the flag of the United States be displayed at half-staff at the White House and on all buildings, grounds, and Naval vessels of the United States for a period of 30 days from the day of his death. I also direct that for the same length of time, the representatives of the United States in foreign countries shall make similar arrangements for the display of the flag at half-staff over their Embassies, Legations, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and stations.

I hereby order that suitable honors be rendered by units of the Armed Forces under orders of the Secretary of Defense.

I do further appoint Friday, June 11, 2004, as a National Day of Mourning throughout the United States. I call on the American people to assemble on that day in their respective places of worship, there to pay homage to the memory of President Reagan. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in this solemn observance.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-eighth.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Text of executive order closing federal government offices:

Executive Order 13343 of June 6, 2004

Providing for the Closing of Government Departments and Agencies on June 11, 2004

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. All executive departments, independent establishments, and other governmental agencies shall be closed on June 11, 2004, as a mark of respect for Ronald Reagan, the fortieth President of the United States. That day shall be considered as falling within the scope of Executive Order 11582 of February 11, 1971, and of 5 U.S.C. 5546 and 6103(b) and other similar statutes insofar as they relate to the pay and leave of employees of the United States.

Sec. 2. The first sentence of section 1 of this order shall not apply to those offices and installations, or parts thereof, in the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, or other departments, independent establishments, and governmental agencies that the heads thereof determine should remain open for reasons of national security or defense or other essential public business.

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