Reagan hails the courage of Armenians after the December 1988 earthquake

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In his final Christmas message as President, Ronald Reagan praised the ”breathtaking bravery” of the survivors of the Armenian earthquake today and asked Americans to join him in ”a time for prayer.”

”Tomorrow is a day for celebration – celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ,” Mr. Reagan said in his weekly radio address. He spoke of the traditions of Christmas and added that this was a ”happy season featuring Hanukkah as well.”

He paid homage to the victims of the earthquake in Armenia. He also sent a holiday greeting to the survivors, although, he said, ”In Armenia, the birth of our Lord is not celebrated until January Sixth,” according to the Julian calendar.

”We have been witnesses to the breathtaking bravery of the people of Leninakan and Spitak as they ready themselves for the task of going on,” the President said. ”And yes, they will go on; for the Armenian people are made of hardy stuff.”

The New York Times Dec. 25, 1988

President Reagan’s Radio Address on Christmas and Armenian Earthquake on December 24, 1988

Video source Reagan Library

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