Weekly Wrap Up: Honoring Those Who Have Served
Honoring our Military: On Veterans Day, the President honored those who have served, or are currently serving, our country. The President hosted a breakfast that morning for veterans and their families before heading off to Arlington Cemetery with the Vice President, the First Lady, and Dr. Biden. The President participated in a wreath-laying ceremony and spoke to the crowd about the devotion and commitment of those who don our nation’s uniform.
In the life of our nation, across every generation, there are those who stand apart. They step up, they raise their hands, they take that oath. They put on the uniform and they put their lives on the line. They do this so that the rest of us might live in a country and a world that is safer, freer, and more just.
The President also reminded Americans that we need to support troops after they have come home. “This is how we’ll be judged. Not just by how well we care for our troops in battle, but how we treat them when they come home,” the President said. Check out the President’s remarks here.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden wrote an op-ed about Joining Forces that appeared in military news websites, highlighting their commitment to employment, wellness, and education for veterans, service members, and their families.
Continuing his work with members of the military later that week, the President welcomed senior civilian defense and military leaders to an annual meeting and dinner, where those present discussed a wide range of issues.
Affordable Care Act: President Obama made a statement in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on Thursday, announcing new steps to help those Americans that are receiving insurance cancellation notices. The President stated that insurers can offer customers who have been notified about canceled plans the option to renew their 2013 plan in 2014.
“It took 100 years for us to even get to the point where we could start talking about and implementing a law to make sure everybody has got health insurance,” the President said. “And my pledge to the American people is, is that we’re going to solve the problems that are there, we’re going to get it right, and the Affordable Care Act is going to work for the American people.”
Manufacturing in Ohio: The President spoke at a steel factory in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, highlighting the plant’s comeback after nearly 1,200 steelworkers were furloughed when the auto industry was on the brink of collapse. Today, ArcelorMittal, is the largest supplier of steel in the auto industry and is a global leader in producing advanced high-strength steel for fuel efficient cars. “The story of this plant is the story of America over the last five years,” President Obama said. “We haven’t just been recovering from a crisis. What we’ve been trying to do is rebuild a new foundation for growth and prosperity to protect ourselves from future crises.”
Tribal Nations Conference: On Thursday, the White House hosted the fifth White House Tribal Nationals Conference, which welcomed leaders from all 566 federally recognized tribes. The President spoke to conference attendees, highlighting the need for strengthening justice and tribal sovereignty, expanding opportunities for Native Americans, and protecting tribal lands. Read the President’s full remarks here.
Protecting kids with asthma and allergies: President Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act on Wednesday, which encourages schools to plan for severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Approximately 9.5 percent of American children suffer from asthma, and between 4 and 6 percent of children have food allergies. By updating and upgrading school’s response capacity for asthma and food allergies, this law will help relieve the anxiety of millions of parents.
First Lady Talks Education: First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, D.C. to discuss the importance of youth empowerment and education. The First Lady shared her personal academic experiences to a group of sophomores, telling them that she pushed herself to have a strong academic and extracurricular record. “And when I encountered doubters…when people told me that I wasn’t going to cut it… I didn’t let that stop me," she said.