"As Americans, we are led by the power of our conscience and the history of our country to defend and promote the dignity and rights of all people. Each person, however frail or defenseless, has a place and a purpose in this world. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the gift of life and our commitment to building a society of compassion and humanity..."

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 18, 2004, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize this day with appropriate ceremonies in our homes and places of worship and to reaffirm our commitment to respecting the life and dignity of every human being."

January 18, 2003 was the day after the U.S. death toll in Iraq reached 500. Thousands of Iraqis and others from around the globe have been wounded or killed since Bush sent troops into war in 2003. As of January 6, the reported minimum death count of Iraqi civilians was 8245. The maximum count was 10089.