Office of the Press SecretarySouth Lawn
THE President: Hello, everyone! Happy fourth of July! (Applause.) For the whole family Obama we want you welcome in the White House welcome here.
People together in their backyards always; be moment, in small towns and large cities anywhere in America, They are raising flags, raising grills and time to enjoy with family and friends. It is a tradition we are trying, here in the White House-follow, although I have to say, a couple we more people here than most. And I can not someone, which I rather than all evolution - the men and women of our military and our exceptional military families celebrate would think. (Applause.)
Let me just check to see that we have here. I understand that we have here some army. (Applause.) How about Navy? (Applause.) Air force! (Applause.) Marines! (Applause.) And we have some Coast Guard. (Applause.)
After all you do every day for our country, we wanted you guys a chance to the receive from the uniform, relax a little and have fun.
But it is also a time for us to reflect on the meaning of America. In many ways, I think that the small group of Patriots who signed their name to the Declaration of independence and see his life for the freedom to their legacy, all these years could be later surprised: a nation that is led revolutions in the market, a man on the Moon, on the poor sent, which lifted, healed the sick; a nation, who fought for democracy, and served as a beacon of hope around the world.
But all that was our founders believe only happened Central due to the, that democracy and individual rights, ordinary people have within their possibilities, to forge a nation that is fair and equal, and more free. And all you Inheritors of the legacy. They represent the latest in a long line of heroes who have served our country with honor and have the incredible sacrifice to protect of the freedoms we all enjoy.
And I have some of those heroes here with us today. (Applause.) Like Army Sergeant first class Justin gang. Where is Justin? Here. While on patrol in the Iraq his convoy was hit by an IED and fell under attack. Even after being wounded by a shell splinter himself, helped to secure the scene and his wounded comrades to safety to evacuate. And today we honor his extraordinary courage. (Applause.)
Marine Hospitalman first class Obi Nwagwu, born in Nigeria, he became a US citizen and volunteered in our nation are military. And as an orthopaedic technician, he helps to recover our wounded warriors continue their strength and their lives back. And today we honor his incredible dedication, Obi. (Applause.)
Air Force Master Sergeant Heather Adkins.
CONCERT BESUCHERIN: Whoo!
THE President: Is that Heather man there? I don't try to get someone in trouble here. (Laugh). Whether it's partnering with Iraqi army or that our troops in some of the most difficult places on the planet have protection, she knows how to do things. And today we honor their tireless dedication. (Applause.)
Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Keith Kesterson. (Applause.) He crashed through enemy fire to free fellow, the navy captured a burning vehicle occupants. And to unravel the Navy equipment, he extinguished the flames and pulled him to safety. And today we honor his unyielding loyalty. (Applause.)
Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Marlene Riklon--where is Marlene? Directly over here. Come here. (Applause.) Less than 24 hours after the devastating earthquake in Haiti was on the scene in which direct aid and save lives in the midst of chaos. And today we honor their incredible commitment. (Applause.)
This American Patrioten--all the services that here today all their represented that are out there heute-- you are the reason why America and our armed forces remain the greatest force for peace and security, that the world has ever known. And you are together are available with all around the world, that reach for the same freedoms and the same freedoms that we celebrate today.
Therefore, I would like to close only by you. You have all done, we you could have asked. Their families were used in addition to their strength and dedication. America is proud to you all. And as long as I have the privilege, as your Commander-in-Chief, I will ensure that you have the support you need in the field; I will ensure that you make maintenance get, when you come home. And with the help of Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden, we will make sure, America takes care of your families and recognizes the extraordinary sacrifices that make them.
This day is possible because of the service. And I think it is only appropriate that we have a chance you there together to celebrate.
God bless you. God bless the United States of America. And happy fourth of July, each. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
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