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Weekly Wrap Up: “You Will Not Travel That Path Alone”
May 24, 2013
04:06 PM EDT
Responding to the Tornadoes in Oklahoma: On Monday, the President spoke with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to express his concern for those who have been affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. The President told Governor Fallin that the administration is committed to providing all the assistance it can to Oklahoma as the response effort unfolds, including approving a Major Disaster Declaration, making federal funding available to support affected individuals, and providing additional federal assistance to support immediate response and recovery efforts.
On Tuesday, President Obama delivered a statement on the devastating tornadoes and severe weather that impacted Oklahoma. He outlined the response efforts underway, and assured the people of Moore and all the affected areas that they would have all the resources that they need at their disposal.
"Americans from every corner of this country will be right there with them, opening our homes, our hearts to those in need. Because we're a nation that stands with our fellow citizens as long as it takes. We've seen that spirit in Joplin, in Tuscaloosa; we saw that spirit in Boston and Breezy Point. And that’s what the people of Oklahoma are going to need from us right now. "
Morehouse College: On Sunday, President Obama delivered the commencement address to the 2013 graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. The President told the graduates that their generation is uniquely poised for success unlike any generation of African Americans that came before it.
“It is one of the great honors of my life to be able to address this gathering here today,” President Obama told the graduates. He spoke about Morehouse’s history, and “the unique sense of purpose that this place has always infused -- the conviction that this is a training ground not only for individual success, but for leadership that can change the world.”
Meeting with the President of Myanmar: On Monday, President Obama welcomed President Thein Sein of Myanmar to the White House for a bilateral meeting, the first visit to the United States by a leader of that country in almost 50 years. During the meeting, the President recognized President Thein Sein’s leadership in moving Myanmar down a path toward political and economic reform as the driving force for improved relations between our two countries.
“We very much appreciate your efforts and leadership in leading Myanmar in a new direction,” President Obama told President Thein Sein. “We want you to know that the United States will make every effort to assist you on what I know is a long, and sometimes difficult, but ultimately correct path to follow.”
DREAMers: On Wednesday, the President and the Vice President hosted a meeting in the Oval Office with young immigrants and the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. The gathering was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to hear directly from people whose families are affected daily by our nation’s broken immigration system. The DREAMers shared how the President’s proposal changed their lives for the better and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home. As the meeting was wrapping up, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year.
Gershwin Prize: On Wednesday, as part of the "In Performance at the White House," series, the White House hosted a concert honoring Carole King, the first woman to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. The Gershwin Prize honors individuals for lifetime achievement in popular music and Wednesday, King joined recording artists James Taylor, Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sande, and Trisha Yearwood in the East Room as she accepted the award on behalf of the co-writers she worked with throughout her career.
National Defense University: Thursday, President Obama laid out a framework for U.S. counterterrorism strategy as we wind down the war in Afghanistan. President Obama discussed how the threat of terrorism has changed substantially since September 11, 2011 -- and explained his comprehensive strategy to meet these threats.
“The quiet determination; that strength of character and bond of fellowship; that refutation of fear -- that is both our sword and our shield. And long after the current messengers of hate have faded from the world’s memory, alongside the brutal despots, and deranged madmen, and ruthless demagogues who litter history -- the flag of the United States will still wave from small-town cemeteries to national monuments, to distant outposts abroad. And that flag will still stand for freedom.”