Public Papers

Remarks at an Antidrug Rally in Arlington, Virginia


Reverend, thank you, sir. It is most fitting that a ceremony like this, where we celebrate what a community has done, open its meeting with prayer. I'm proud to be here. My dear friend the Congressman from here, Frank Wolf, he and I came over together, and he was ecstatic in trying to give me the heartbeat of this community and tell me what you all have achieved.

I've read about it, I've seen stories from time to time, but there's nothing like being on the scene to get a real feel. All I will say is that we have got to find various ways with which to win the battle against drugs, and this community is setting an example really for the rest of the Nation.

So what I wanted to do here today was simply turn it over to you all and hear what you've done. This morning I met at the White House with some business leaders, and they're working in the business community to make the business places free of drugs, workplaces drug-free. And they're making progress.

The reduction in cocaine, casual use by teenagers is down by 63 percent in the last 3 years. So you all are making some progress.

But I really came over to not only congratulate you on this, what is it, the second anniversary of the initiation of this project, but to say that the Government couldn't possibly have done it, it couldn't possibly have happened without this community involvement, dedicated women, dedicated men saying, ``Look, we're going to safeguard these kids, these precious kids, against the use of drugs.'' So what I want to do is hear from you as to how it went.

Note: The President spoke at 1:58 p.m. at Drew Elementary School. In his remarks, he referred to Richard Green, associate pastor of Mount Salvation Baptist Church, who gave the invocation.