Weekly Wrap Up: “We Will Finish the Race”
Honoring Victims from the Marathon: On Thursday, President Obama delivered remarks at a spirited interfaith service for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The President and First Lady were joined by Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino, Cardinal O’Malley and faith leaders at Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross. President Obama comforted the people of Boston and praised them for their resolve in the face of evil.
Our prayers are with the injured -— so many wounded, some gravely. From their beds, some are surely watching us gather here today. And if you are, know this: As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. Your commonwealth is with you. Your country is with you. We will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and, yes, run again. Of that I have no doubt. You will run again. You will run again.
Background Checks Voted Down: On Wednesday, the President made a statement on the Senate’s rejection of expanded background checks. Even though many issued passionate calls for action, including families from Newton, and 90 percent of Americans support background checks, this legislation was blocked.
It came down to politics -- the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections. They worried that the gun lobby would spend a lot of money and paint them as anti-Second Amendment.
The President called it a “shameful day for Washington,” but he said the movement was not over and meaningful changes to reduce gun violence are possible if the American people do not give up.
“I believe we’re going to be able to get this done,” said President Obama. “Sooner or later, we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it. And so do the American people.”
VP Biden Google Hangout on Guns: On Wednesday, the Vice President welcomed mayors from across the country for a virtual conversation on commonsense steps to reduce gun violence. During the Google+ Hangout, viewers joined the discussion using the hashtag #NowIsTheTime. Watch the full hangout here.
Follow the White House on Google+ for updates and opportunities to participate in upcoming hangouts.
Wounded Warriors “Soldier Ride”: On Wednesday, President Obama and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki welcomed the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the South Lawn. The Soldier Ride is a four-day cycling opportunity for injured servicemen and women to overcome physical, mental, or emotional wounds from service. The event also raises awareness for the servicemen and women who have come home injured. The President thanked the remarkable men and women for their service and for providing our country inspiration.
Together, with your outstanding families, you represent what’s best in America. When we needed patriots to defend our freedom, you have answered the call. You’ve risked everything for our country and for each other. And you’ve made sacrifices most of us can barely imagine.
Veterans’ Employment Bill Ceremony: On Wednesday, the First Lady joined Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley at the State House as he signed into law the Veterans Full Employment Act of 2013. The bill eases the transition for military families seeking civilian jobs by speeding up the process for credentials.
A report by the Executive Office of the President explains these barriers that confront service members and their families in establishing their qualifications for civilian employment. The First Lady has challenged all 50 governors to make it easier for veterans to get the credentials they need to transition to the civilian labor market. The goal for action in all 50 states is set for the end of 2015.