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Dear Friends:

We stand at a rare moment in human history: the end of a century and the birth of a new millennium. Before us stretches a journey upon which all humanity will embark, a journey that calls for hope, imagination, and courage. The beginning of this new millennium will be a time for great rejoicing. But it should also be a time for reflection and renewal, an opportunity for us as individuals and as a nation to examine who we are, what we have accomplished, and where we hope to go. Most important, it must be a time when we work together to ensure a bright future for our children.

The First Lady and I created the White House Millennium Council to encourage the participation of every American in our nation's celebration and commemoration. The guiding theme of our national millennium program is "Honor the Past — Imagine the Future." Every community in this great land has a cherished part of its past worth preserving — historic sites and artifacts that serve as living reminders of the ideals and creativity that have shaped our experience. Every community has something to give to enhance the lives of future generations and to revitalize our democracy. And every American can share in the excitement of this once-in-a-thousand-years celebration.

That is why we are pleased to launch the Millennium Communities program. The White House Millennium Council, in partnership with local elected officials, will be awarding the national designation of "Millennium Community" to each town, city, county, and tribe that takes a leadership role in marking this historic milestone. We invite every community, large and small, to participate. We want to know your community's plans to welcome the 21st century, and we will register your ideas and successes on the Millennium Communities Web site so that others across the country can learn from your example.

America's proud past was shaped by the efforts of generations of individuals, families, and communities. Now each of us has a rare opportunity to make our own contributions to our common destiny and an even brighter future for our nation. The First Lady and I hope you will join us in celebrating this exciting journey into the new millennium.


Bill Clinton


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