Weekly Wrap Up: Sacrifices and Accomplishments

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Here's a quick glimpse at this week on WhiteHouse.gov:

The Nation’s Heroes: This Monday the President, Vice President, First Lady, and Dr. Biden traveled to the Arlington National Cemetery where the President laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. He then spoke to the families gathered there, asking that we remember the fallen soldiers for the people they really were, “One thing we can do is remember these heroes as you remember them -- not just as a rank, or a number, or a name on a headstone, but as Americans, often far too young, who were guided by a deep and abiding love for their families, for each other, and for this country.”

The President then made his way to the Vietnam Veterans memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam  War. There he spoke of the service that the veterans undertook for America, both in war and once they returned home, “Like generations before you, you took off the uniform, but you never stopped serving.  You became teachers and police officers and nurses -- the folks we count on every single day.  You became entrepreneurs, running companies and pioneering industries that changed the world.  You became leaders and public servants, from town halls to Capitol Hill -- lifting up our communities, our states, our nation. You reminded us what it was like to serve, what it meant to serve. “

Extraordinary People: On Tuesday the President awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to 13 extraordinary individuals. These people came from all walks in life, ranging from a doctor to a musician, the President said that each has made his or her mark on America, “Together, the honorees on this stage, and the ones who couldn’t be here, have moved us with their words; they have inspired us with their actions.  They’ve enriched our lives and they’ve changed our lives for the better.  Some of them are household names; others have labored quietly out of the public eye.  Most of them may never fully appreciate the difference they’ve made or the influence that they’ve had, but that’s where our job comes in.”

A Step in the Right Direction: President Obama also signed a bipartisan, Import-Export Bank reauthorization bill to help strengthen our economy. “Soon, there are going to be millions of new customers for our goods and services in Korea, in Colombia and Panama.  That way, even though we got some Hyundais over here, we’re also going to have some Chryslers and Fords and Chevys in Seoul that are imported from Detroit and Toledo and Chicago.” The President also took this time to reiterate that more needs to be done in order to fix our economy and particularly focused on the need for Congress to get to work on the “To-Do-List” that President Obama has been pushing for over the past month.

Portraits Unveiled: On Thursday Former President and First Lady Bush returned to the White House to unveil their official White House portraits. These portraits will join those of previous Presidents and First Ladies in the halls of the White House.

E-Reminder: On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, a wage gap that exists regardless of personal choices like education or occupation. That's why President Obama is supporting the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.  To help make more people aware of the pay gap, we’ve created some e-cards that you can send via email or share on social media that explain why equal pay for equal work is essential.

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