Obama Presidency April 20, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech on April 23, 2012 Honoring the Pledge of ‘Never Again’ at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Join the Conversation: Honoring the Pledge of ‘Never Again’

Source: WH, 4-20-12

On Monday, April 23, President Obama will speak at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to commemorate the Holocaust and discuss how the United States is honoring the pledge of “never again” by developing a comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to mass atrocities.

Later in the afternoon, the White House is hosting an event that will offer a more in-depth look at the strategy President Obama and his Administration are working to put in place so that the United States is able to engage early, proactively and decisively in the face of mass atrocities.

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • 9:45 a.m. ET: Watch President Obama’s live on WhiteHouse.gov/live or on Facebook. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel will introduce the President.
    • To discuss the speech online, use the hashtag #NeverAgain
  • 1:00 p.m. ET: Watch the White House event with Administration officials, student leaders and organizations about how communities across America are mobilizing and playing a role in saving lives around the word.
    • To ask questions for the panel discussions, use the hashtag #WHChat on Twitter.
    • On Facebook, you can ask questions in advance for the panel on our Facebook event page or through the White House Live application.

The agenda for the post-speech event, which begins at 1:00 p.m., includes:

  • A Q&A session with the newly created Atrocities Prevention Board, an interagency group tasked with coordinating the prevention of and response to mass atrocities across the U.S. government
  • A discussion with leaders from influential activist organizations about the work their networks are doing across the country and around the globe to save lives and prevent needless violence.
  • A discussion about how the government can adapt to take advantage of new technology that make it easier to communicate and connect with people around the world than ever before.
Advertisements

Full Text Obama Presidency April 20, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the Annual the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride for Veterans

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride

Source: WH, 4-20-12
President Barack Obama cheers for the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride
President Barack Obama cheers on participants in the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride on the South Lawn of the White House, April 20, 2012. The President hosted the sixth annual Soldier Ride, a cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
President Obama today led cheers for 22 injured servicemembers as they took a spin around the South Lawn as part of the annual Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride. The participants in the four-day event include representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, including two brothers, Erik and Deven Schei, riding a specially-made tandem bike.

In his remarks, the President praised the riders for their strength and their dedication:

And I know you’re all doing this ride for different reasons. Some of you may be athletes looking to get the competitive juices flowing again.  Maybe some of you are trying to see how far you can push yourselves. Some of you are doing it for the camaraderie and the bond that comes when you work hard alongside people who know what you’re going through. Maybe you’re doing it to honor a loved one or a buddy.  But all of you are here because you believe in living your lives to the fullest. You know that each of us has a responsibility to seize the opportunities we’ve been blessed with.  You ride because you can, and you ride for those who can’t. That’s what this is all about.


Learn more:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President at Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride

South Lawn

4:38 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you!  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Well, good afternoon, everybody.  Welcome to the White House.  Thank you, Ric, for that introduction.  More importantly, thank you for your service and for everything you do for our veterans and our wounded warriors.

We’ve also got here today Senator Tom Udall and Congresswoman Corrine Brown with us.  Thank you all for coming.

This is the fourth time we’ve had the Soldier Ride here in the South Lawn.  And this year, you’ve already covered some ground — 34 miles over the last few days, and another 24-mile ride tomorrow.  So our job is to give you a break, maybe even a little extra fuel, and get you back on the road.

The reason I ask this group to stop by every year is because this is one of the most inspiring events that we have here at the White House.  As Commander-in-Chief, I can’t take sides, but I know the Army is represented here.  (Hooah!)  Navy is represented here.  (Navy!)  We’ve got some Air Force.  (Hooyah!)  We’ve got some Marines in the house.  (Ooh-rah!)  And we’ve got some Coast Guard.  (Applause.)  (Laughter.)  And there’s some folks here who don’t wear a uniform, but who work just as hard and sacrifice just as much alongside you — and that’s our outstanding military families in the house.  (Applause.)

So this is a pretty diverse group.  And I know you’re all doing this ride for different reasons.  Some of you may be athletes looking to get the competitive juices flowing again.  Maybe some of you are trying to see how far you can push yourselves.  Some of you are doing it for the camaraderie and the bond that comes when you work hard alongside people who know what you’re going through.  Maybe you’re doing it to honor a loved one or a buddy.  But all of you are here because you believe in living your lives to the fullest.  You know that each of us has a responsibility to seize the opportunities we’ve been blessed with.  You ride because you can, and you ride for those who can’t.  That’s what this is all about.

And that’s what inspired Chris Carney to hop on a bike and head across country on the first Soldier Ride eight years ago to raise money and awareness for returning troops and wounded warriors.  Chris came up with the idea working as a bartender in Long Island.  And I have to say it’s better than most of the ideas that come out of bars.  (Laughter.)  At least that’s been my experience.  (Laughter.)

Today, there are Soldier Rides all across the country.  They serve as a reminder that all of us can do our part to serve the men and women who serve us.  And I’m glad to see you’re all decked out in the stars and stripes, because I want anybody who sees this ride go by to know that they’re in the presence of heroes.

Some of these guys I’ve had a chance to meet before.  I first met Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Max Rohn when he was in the hospital recovering from a grenade attack in Fallujah that cost him his leg.  And Max I think will admit he was in pretty rough shape at the time.  But the next time I saw him, at a dinner that we hosted here recently for Iraq War veterans, Max had gained 80 pounds — or 40 pounds, and was training for the upcoming Wounded Warrior games.  I offered him two dinners after he finished the first one kind of quick, and he readily accepted.  (Laughter.)  After he finished the first dessert kind of quick, I offered him another one.  He accepted that one, too.  I am positive it is the most anybody has ever eaten in the White House.  (Laughter.)  And now he’s ready to ride.

We’ve also got Captain Leslie Smith here today.  Leslie lost her leg and her eyesight after serving in Bosnia, and this is her first time back on a bike.  She’s going to be riding in tandem alongside Meghan Speicher-Harris, who works with the Wounded Warrior Project.  And it’s good to have them both here.

And then there are the Schei brothers — Erik and Deven.  When Erik enlisted in the Army, Deven made a promise that if anything bad ever happened, he would finish what his brother started.  And during his second tour in Iraq, Erik was shot in the head by a sniper.  So Deven enlisted.  Then two years ago, Deven was injured in Afghanistan.  And now the two brothers ride a specially-made tandem bike, with Deven leading the way.  They’re taking on this latest challenge just like they did every other one — together.

So these men and women, they’re an inspiration.  And it’s also inspiring to meet the families behind them — the moms and dads, and the brothers and sisters, the sons and daughters who are standing by their side through good times and bad.  You’re heroes, too.  And I know Michelle and I look forward to any time we get to spend with military families.

So I want to encourage everybody who sees these riders going by this weekend to go out and cheer, and say thanks, and salute, and show your support.  And as Commander-in-Chief, I promise to do everything I can to make sure that you guys get the care and the benefits that you deserve, that you’ve earned.  All of you have served your country.  That’s why now it’s time for the country to serve you.  That’s what you deserve, and here in America we take care of our own.

So to all the riders here today, we are proud of you.  Your country is proud of you.  And now I’m going to see how you guys do taking some laps around the South Lawn.  But you got to do it on the horn — I don’t want anybody cheating.  (Laughter.)

All right.  On your marks, get set — (the President sounds the horn.)  Hey!  (Applause.)

END 4:44 P.M. EDT

Full Text Obamas Presidency April 20, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Declaration Establishes Fort Ord as a National Monument

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Establishes Fort Ord as a National Monument

Source: WH, 4-20-12

President Barack Obama signs a proclamation regarding the  establishment of the Fort Ord National
President Barack Obama signs a proclamation regarding the establishment of the Fort Ord National Monument, in the Oval Office, April 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Herbert)

Today President Obama signed a proclamation establishing Fort Ord, a former U.S. Army Post located in the heart of California’s Central Coast, as a National Monument. It is one of the largest open spaces in the highly developed Monterey Bay area.

The area was once traversed by Spanish settlers traveling from Mexico to San Francisco, and later became a U.S. Army facility. The rugged terrain was perfect for training exercises, and nearly 1.5 million American soldiers who served between World War I and the early 1990s were introduced to the rigors of military service there.

Today, 10,000 visitors each year explore the area’s canyons and grasslands by bike, horse and foot, while scientists flock to the area because of its diverse group of rare and endemic species of plants and animals. In fact, Fort Ord is one of the few remaining places in the world where coastal scrub, live oak woodland and savanna habitats, and vernal pools–shallow, temporary pools of water that teem with insect life–exist in a contiguous, interconnected landscape.

The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Presidential Proclamation — Establishment of the Fort Ord National Monument

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FORT ORD NATIONAL MONUMENT
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

In the heart of California’s Central Coast, the former Fort Ord encompasses a sweeping landscape of vivid beauty and rich natural diversity. One of the few remaining expanses of large, contiguous open space in the increasingly developed Monterey Bay area, this area is a rolling landscape long treasured for recreation, scientific research, outdoor education, and historical significance. Originating in the Pleistocene Epoch, ancient dunes provide the foundation for this landscape’s unique array of plant and wildlife communities. The area is also notable for its historical significance, including its role in the Spanish settlement of California and in the military training of generations of American soldiers.

Nearly two and a half centuries ago, as Americans fought for independence far to the east, these lands were traversed by a group of settlers led by Spanish Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza. In 1775-1776, Anza established the first overland route from “New Spain,” as Mexico was then known, to San Francisco, opening the way for expanded Spanish settlement of California. The diaries kept on this nearly 2,000-mile journey were used to identify the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, approximately 6 miles of which pass through the Fort Ord area. Although much of the historic route currently passes through urban areas, the undeveloped expanse of the Fort Ord area is likely quite similar to the open landscape experienced by Anza and by the Costanoan (now commonly referred to as Ohlone) peoples who lived in what is now the Central Coast region of California.

The area’s open, contiguous landscape owes its undeveloped state in large part to its role as a U.S. Army facility. From World War I through the early 1990s, the area’s rugged terrain served as a military training ground and introduced as many as a million and a half American soldiers to the rigors of military service. From its origins in 1917 as a training ground for troops stationed at the nearby Presidio of Monterey, Fort Ord had grown into a major Army installation by the beginning of World War II. During the Vietnam War, it served as a leading training center and deployment staging ground. While the former Fort Ord has few remaining historic structures, today thousands of veterans carry the memory of its dramatic landscape as their first taste of Army life, as a final stop before deploying to war, or as a home base during their military career. These lands are an historical link to the heroism and dedication of the men and women who served our Nation and fought in the major conflicts of the 20th century.

Today, this expansive, historic landscape provides opportunities for solitude and adventure to nearly 100,000 visitors each year. By bicycle, horse, and foot visitors can explore the Fort Ord area’s scenic and natural resources along trails that wind over lush grasslands, between gnarled oaks, and through scrub-lined canyons. Within the boundaries of the Fort Ord area, visitors admire the landscape and scenery and are exposed to wildlife and a diverse group of rare and endemic plants and animals. Because visitors travel from areas near and far, these lands support a growing travel and tourism sector that is a source of economic opportunity for the community, especially businesses in the region. They also help to attract new residents, retirees, and businesses that will further diversify the local economy.

Scientists are also drawn here, seeking out opportunities to better understand once-widespread species and vegetative communities, and their ongoing restoration. The Fort Ord area is significant because of its rich biodiversity and important Central Coast habitats, supporting a diverse group of rare and endemic species of plants and animals that are managed across the base through a multi-agency, community-led management plan. It is one of the few remaining places in the world where large expanses of coastal scrub and live oak woodland and savanna habitat, mixed with rare vernal pools, exist in a contiguous, interconnected landscape.

The protection of the Fort Ord area will maintain its historical and cultural significance, attract tourists and recreationalists from near and far, and enhance its unique natural resources, for the enjoyment of all Americans.

WHEREAS section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431) (the “Antiquities Act”), authorizes the President, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected;

WHEREAS the 1991 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission recommended that Fort Ord cease to be used as an Army installation, and pursuant to the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-510), Fort Ord closed on September 30, 1994;

WHEREAS it is in the public interest to reserve such lands as a national monument to be known as the Fort Ord National Monument;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 2 of the Antiquities Act, hereby proclaim that all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States within the boundaries described on the map entitled “Fort Ord National Monument,” which is attached to and forms a part of this proclamation, are hereby set apart and reserved as the Fort Ord National Monument (monument) for the purpose of protecting and restoring the objects identified above. The reserved Federal lands and interests in lands consist of approximately 14,651 acres, which is the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected and restored.

All Federal lands and interests in lands within the boundaries of this monument are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, location, selection, sale, leasing, or other disposition under the public lands laws, including withdrawal from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing other than by exchange that furthers the protective purposes of the monument.

The establishment of this monument is subject to valid existing rights. Lands and interests in lands within the monument boundaries not owned or controlled by the United States shall be reserved as part of the monument upon acquisition of ownership or control by the United States.

Of the approximately 14,651 acres of Federal lands and interests in lands reserved by this proclamation, approximately 7,205 acres are currently managed by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and approximately 7,446 acres are currently managed by the Secretary of the Army. The Secretary of the Army, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, shall continue to manage the lands and interests in lands under the Secretary’s jurisdiction within the monument boundaries until the Army transfers those lands and interests in lands to the BLM in accordance with the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of the Army and the BLM, as amended, that describes the responsibilities of each agency related to such lands and interests in lands, the implementing actions required of each agency, the process for transferring administrative jurisdiction over such lands and interests in lands to the Secretary of the Interior, and the processes for resolving interagency disputes. The Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, shall manage that portion of the monument under the Secretary’s administrative jurisdiction, pursuant to applicable legal authorities and the MOU, to implement the purposes of this proclamation.

For purposes of protecting and restoring the objects identified above, the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, shall prepare and maintain a transportation plan, in coordination with the Secretary of the Army and consistent with the MOU, that provides for visitor enjoyment and understanding of the scientific and historic objects on lands within the monument boundaries that are under the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior.
The transportation plan shall include the designation of roads and trails for bicycling and other purposes. Except for emergency or authorized administrative purposes, under the transportation plan motorized vehicle use shall be permitted only on designated roads, and non-motorized mechanized vehicle use shall be permitted only on designated roads and trails. The plan shall be revised upon the transfer of lands now under the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Army to the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with the MOU.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish the rights of any Indian tribe.

Nothing in this proclamation shall affect the responsibility of the Department of the Army under applicable environmental laws, including the remediation of hazardous substances or munitions and explosives of concern within the monument boundaries; nor affect the Department of the Army’s statutory authority to control public access or statutory responsibility to make other measures for environmental remediation, monitoring, security, safety, or emergency preparedness purposes; nor affect any Department of the Army activities on lands not included within the monument. Nothing in this proclamation shall affect the implementation of the Installation-Wide Multispecies Habitat Management Plan for the former Fort Ord including interagency agreements implementing that plan.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish the jurisdiction of the State of California with respect to fish and wildlife management.

Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; however, the monument shall be the dominant reservation.

Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of this monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

BARACK OBAMA

%d bloggers like this: