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News & Press: Administration News

President Obama to honor the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Normandy

Thursday, February 20, 2014  
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World War Two Veterans Honored at the French State Arrival Ceremony

French State Arrival Ceremony

President Barack Obama and President François Hollande of France listen to the French and U.S. national anthems during the State Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Feb. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Tuesday morning, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and the First Lady welcomed French President François Hollande to the White House – the first state visit by a French president in nearly 20 years.

During his remarks President Obama took paused to honor two WWII veterans, saying:

"For more than two centuries, we’ve not only proclaimed our ideals, our citizens have bled to preserve them, from a field in Yorktown to the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan. And today, we are honored to be joined by two extraordinary men who were there those historic days 70 years ago. I ask them to stand, proud veterans of D-Day who are here in attendance today.”

Following President Obamas speech the President of France took the stage and also took an opportunity to recognize the sacrifices of American service members by saying,

"This afternoon, at the Arlington Cemetery, I shall award the Legion d’Honneur, the highest French distinction, to the American Unknown Soldier. And I shall present American veterans who fought in the Second World War with an award and I’d like to pay tribute to these men.”

The full transcript of Tuesday’s ceremony can be found here while a blog about the event can be found here.

President Obama to travel to Normandy to honor the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon President Obama said,

"I’m very pleased to announce that I have accepted François’s invitation and will travel to France in June to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. I was there for the 65th anniversary and it was an extraordinary experience.I’m looking forward to returning to honor our remarkable veterans and to reaffirm this extraordinary alliance.”

First Lady Announces That Construction Industry will hire 100,000 Veterans over the Next 5 Years

First Lady Michelle Obama Announcing Veteran Hiring

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the National Symposium on Veterans' Employment in Construction, in support of Joining Forces, at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2014. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and veterans Larry Melton and Katie Sanicky are onstage with the First Lady. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

On Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed well over 300 stakeholders from the military, business community, and federal government at the first ever Veterans’ Employment in Construction Symposium at the Department of Labor. The First Lady announced that more than 100 companies in the construction industry are committing to hire more than 100,000 veterans over the next 5 years.

This announcement is a testament to what can happen when employers think bigger than their own company’s needs and come together to leverage their industry’s resources. Associations like NCCER and the Home Builder’s Institute, as well as those supported by the Building Trades, Associated General Contractors of America, and firms partnered with Helmets to Hardhats’ are banding together to train the next generation of workers.

In her remarks, The First Lady noted that, "America’s military turns out some of the highest-skilled, hardest-working employees this country has ever seen.” Veterans have the experience and skills necessary to succeed in any career and today we thank the construction industry for this innovative commitment. This visionary effort is addressing the need for improved transition support and skills development in this ever growing field.We urge other sectors, firms, and associations to view veterans as an investment in their organization and America.

To review the First Lady’s speech, please click here.

Nine Soldiers Selected for 2014 U.S. Olympic Team

U.S. four-man bobsled team

Army Sgt. Nick Cunningham, assigned to the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, jumps into the sled to drive Olympic gold medalist and WCAP teammate Sgt. Justin Olsen, Johnny Quinn, and Abraham Morlu to 16th place in the four-man bobsled event at the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation’s 2013 World Cup stop Dec. 7, at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. (U.S. Army photo by Tim Hipps/Released)

Nine soldiers in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program are members of the U.S. Olympic Team that will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, scheduled for Feb. 7 through 23 in Sochi, Russia.

The U.S. Olympic Committee officially announced the team Jan. 27.

The soldier-athletes named to Team USA are 2010 Olympic gold medalist in four-man bobsled Sgt. Justin Olsen, 26, of San Antonio; 2010 Olympic bobsledder Capt. ChristopherFogt, 30, of Alpine, Utah; 2010 Olympic bobsledder Sgt. Nick Cunningham, 27, of Monterey, Calif.; bobsledder Sgt. Dallas Robinson, 31, of Georgetown, Ky.; 2006 Olympic luger Sgt. Preston Griffall, 29, of Salt Lake City; and luger Sgt. Matt Mortensen, 28, of Huntington Station, N.Y.

You can read more here.

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