Michelle Obama Speeches: Women in the Military, Health Insurance Reform, Diet, and Exercise


MRS. OBAMA: I want to thank the General for
that kind introduction, and to thank her for

her lifetime of service to this nation in
the United States Air Force and as the leader

of the Women in Military Service for America
Memorial. I just did a tour with the General,

and this is an amazing asset to this nation.
It's something that many of us don't even

know exists, and I could have spent hours
there.

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I strongly encourage anyone in this country
who hasn't taken the time to see this memorial.

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It goes through the whole progression of women
into the military, with contributions from

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family members from around this country, pictures,
uniforms. I'm going to spend more time here

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and bring my girls, because it is something
that I want them to see. So I'm grateful to

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have the opportunity to see this, and will
be working hard to make sure that this memorial

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continues to be a part of this nation's heritage.
(Applause.)

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I also want to thank a few people, as well.
I want to thank General Dunwoody, the nation's

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first female four-star general, which deserves
its own round of applause -- (applause); Vice

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Admiral Vivien Cray of the United States Coast
Guard -- and I know there a few Coast Guards

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out there; I heard you -- (applause); and
to Congresswomen Mary Fallin, as well as Laura

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Richardson and my hometown congressperson
Jan Schakowsky. (Applause.) I also have to

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recognize someone else from home, our good
friend, dear dear friend, Tammy Duckworth.

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(Applause.) It's good to see you. (Applause.)
I am honored to be here with you all. As the

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General said, of course this is -- this month
is Women's History Month, and it provides

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an opportunity for Americans to discover and
reflect on the accomplishments of women throughout

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our nation's history.
But it provides an opportunity to celebrate

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the many contributions women make today in
national life as leaders in business, government,

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the community, the military, and of course
in everyday life, which is how we women live,

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mostly as mothers, daughters, wives, colleagues
and friends. And I couldn't think of a better

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way to begin Women's History Month than by
coming here to the Women's Memorial at Arlington

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National Cemetery to honor our nation's servicewomen.
As I speak, servicewomen and men are at their

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posts all across our nation and around the
world. They're standing watch and providing

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the security that allows us to live in peace
and to continue on with our daily lives.

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That includes two whom I have just met -– Lieutenant
Grace Thompson and Corporal Crystal Moultrie

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of the United States Marines. We keep them,
the wounded who are recovering, and those

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who gave the ultimate sacrifice, so that we
may live in safety and freedom, we keep them

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in our thoughts and our prayers.
Throughout our nation's history, women have

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played an important role in the military as
well as in organizations supporting the military

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during times of conflict. Our foremothers
and our sisters today have joined our forefathers

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and our brothers today in securing our liberty
and protecting our country.

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Women's military service goes back to America's
early beginnings, and servicewomen have long

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navigated the twists and turns of the women's
rights struggle to secure a more equal and

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fuller place in the United States military.
This history was interesting to me. In 1782

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Deborah Sampson disguised herself and enlisted
in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment. She

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was wounded at the Battle of Tarrytown in
New York. Later, she appealed for back pay

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as a former Continental Army soldier and was
supported by Paul Revere. The measure was

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passed by the Massachusetts legislature and
approved by the governor, John Hancock.

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Then there was Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a
military doctor, who became the nation's first

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female Medal of Honor recipient for her service
during the Civil War.

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And then we moved to the 20th century, where
women became full-fledged members of the United

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States military with the creation of the Army
and Navy Nurse Corps in 1901 and 1908.

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And we are joined here today by two amazing
women -- they gave me their ages, but there's

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no reason to know, because they look about
30, 40, to me -- (laughter) -- Mary Ragland

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and Alice Dixon, who served in the "Six-Triple
Eight," the only unit of African American

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women in the Women's Army Corps to serve overseas
during World War II. Please give them a round

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of applause. I know Mary is here. (Applause.)
Spring chickens. (Laughter.) And if you live

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right, you may be sitting right there in a
few decades. (Laughter.)

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There's also Esther Corcoran, who is also
with us, enlisted as a private in the Women's

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Army Auxiliary Corps and was later entered
into Officer Candidate School. She was eventually

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promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, one of the
first 10 women to achieve this rank. (Applause.)

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Currently serving her country is Lieutenant
Commander Cindy Campbell. She began her Navy

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career as an E1, served at sea and on the
homeland. She put herself through college

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and graduate school at night and became an
officer. She now works in the White House

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Military Office, right outside my office in
the East Wing. Cindy serves as a mentor to

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servicewomen and men in earlier stages of
their careers, and I and my staff benefit

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from her expertise and dedication every day.
Cindy, where are you? She's way in the back.

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(Applause.)
These women and thousands of others set a

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standard for excellence that enables women
who serve today to take on even greater responsibilities.

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A recent Women's Memorial Women's History
Month poster is called "Voices of Valor" and

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spotlights five decorated servicewomen from
each of the Armed Forces who've served or

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are serving in the current war.
One is Silver Star recipient Sergeant Lee

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Ann Hester. She's the first woman to have
been decorated for direct actions against

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an enemy force.
There's also Lieutenant Lisa Starr [sic],

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a United States Navy Nurse, who volunteered
for a nighttime flight in Iraq during a sandstorm

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that had grounded all medical helicopters
to save the life of a wounded Marine.

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And there's Fighter pilot Captain Kim Campbell,
who displayed extraordinary skill at the controls

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of her aircraft to support and protect the
lives of her fellow soldiers fighting on the

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ground in Iraq.
There's Second Class Marine Science Technician

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Sarah Vega, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan
and is an example of the bravery that men

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and women of the United States Coast Guard
are displaying in war zones today.

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And then Marine Corporal Ramona Valdez who,
in addition to her other duties, was teamed

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up with 16 other servicewomen to form an all-female
search force in Iraq as a proactive effort

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to calm Iraqi concerns that male soldiers
might search Muslim women. Her convoy was

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attacked and she was killed four days before
her 21st birthday.

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Marine Major General Douglas O'Dell Jr. wept
as he awarded Purple Hearts to the survivors

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from Corporal Valdez's force. He said he was
moved, I quote, "not by special sympathy for

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the women" but because of the display of equality
born of that horrible day in Fallujah. The

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general went on to explain that while military
leaders believed women Marines could perform

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as bravely as men under deadly attack, there
had never been a trial like the one in Fallujah

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to prove it.
Members of the military and their families

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have a special courage and strength. As the
President said last week during his address

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at Camp Lejeune, service doesn't end with
the person wearing the uniform. You all know

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that.
And I have been honored and deeply moved to

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meet many military families over the past
couple of years. They are mothers and fathers

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who have lost their beloved children to war.
They are husbands and wives keeping the family

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on track while their wives and husbands are
deployed, on duty. They are grandparents,

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aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers who
are taking care of children while single moms

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or dads in uniform are away.
And there are moms and dads who both serve

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in uniform -- like helicopter pilots Colonels
Laura and Jim Richardson who in 2003 became

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the first couple to have led their own battalions
during a time of combat. And during that time,

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they were able to leave their 14-year-old
daughter in the care of family when they were

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deployed.
See, military families have done their duty,

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and we as a grateful nation must do ours.
We must do everything in our power to honor

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them by supporting them; not just by word
but by deed.

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And it is my great hope that today's and future
generations will honor women and men in uniform

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by first of all never taking the blessings
of freedom for granted and by doing their

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part to create a more perfect union. I know
that we will continue to do our parts over

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the coming years.
Again, I want to thank you all for your service,

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for your courage, for your dedication, for
your commitment. And may God bless you all,

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and God bless America. Thank you so much.
(Applause.)

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MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, everyone. (Applause.)
Good afternoon and welcome to the White House!

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(Laughter.) Tonight's house is a little warm
in here. (Laughter.) But it is a pleasure

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to be here with you today to celebrate the
10th Anniversary of the National Design Awards

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and to honor some of the country's most compelling
innovators. And I got to meet them all. They

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are terrific, and we are just thrilled to
have you with us today.

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Congratulations to all of you -- our honorees
and those of you just working hard getting

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the job done.
How are you, sir? It's good to see you. (Laughter.)

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You are scientists and artists. Your work
is both practical and poetic, educational

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and inspirational. You represent diverse fields
of disciplines but you share the common thread

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of superior design.
What I love about design is the artistic and

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scientific complexity that also becomes useful:
a laptop, a bridge, an outfit -- (laughter)

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-- a garden, all drawn from a thousand wells
of inspiration and yet grounded in the basic

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principles of math or science.
Great designers also pursue a mission. Great

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designers design with mankind in mind. Building
on the innovations of the past, you help to

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shape a better future. Like your lifetime
achievement honoree Bill Moggridge, what would

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we do without our laptops! (Laughter.) My
kids would die. (Laughter.) They'd be -- they

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wouldn't make it through the summer. I don't
know whether to thank you, Bill, for that.

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(Laughter.)
But that future and our ability to solve the

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great challenges of our time will depend on
how we educate and engage the current generation.

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That's why the President has made such a strong
commitment to ensuring access to high-quality

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education for all children, particularly in
math and science.

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And today the President and Secretary Duncan
are announcing the "Race to the Top," which

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is a competitive grant to spur education reform
across the country and encourage educators

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and leaders to embrace innovative approaches
to teaching and to learning.

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As part of the Recovery Act, Congress has
allotted more than $4 billion for this competition

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–- funding that'll be used for competitive
grants to states, school districts, and non-profit

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partners that are most successful at raising
standards, improving student learning, and

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turning around struggling schools. That is
very exciting.

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But when it comes to innovation, you all know
full well that an educational foundation is

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only part of the equation, right; that in
order for creativity to flourish and imagination

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to take hold we also need to expose our children
to the arts from a very young age.

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Even Albert Einstein knew better, right? He
knew that there is only so much that a good

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education could do. These were his words.
He said, "I am enough of an artist to draw

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freely upon my imagination." "Imagination,"
he said, "is more important than knowledge.

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Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles
the world." That's from Einstein, so I think

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he knew what he was talking about. (Laughter.)
We need to ensure that our children have both

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–- knowledge and imagination. I know I want
that for my girls. They deserve to have access

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to a good education and access to ideas and
images that will spark their creativity.

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And as First Lady, I have spent a lot of time
trying to break down barriers that too often

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exist between major cultural establishments
and the people in their immediate communities.

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So we've been sending a lot of role models
out there in the far reaches of this city

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and then inviting kids to come back here to
the White House. That's been a big part of

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the messages of every single event that we've
done here at the White House. These kids who

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are living just inches away from power and
prestige and fortune and fame, we want those

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kids to know that they belong here, too. We
want them to know that they belong here in

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the White House and in the museums, and in
libraries, and laboratories all over this

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country.
And I want to thank you all today for helping

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carry that mission out by going out today
into the community and making sure that kids

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know that they belong on the cutting edge
of design just the same; that they belong

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in the world of discovery and science, reminding
them that they belong in the presence of great

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art and beauty; that it is theirs just as
much as anyone's in this nation.

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And earlier today you shared your visions,
your ideas, your experiences and expertise

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by leading workshops at Smithsonian locations
across Washington D.C. And I am grateful to

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all of you for taking the time to make that
happen. From type fonts to technology, from

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silks and satins to sustainability –- you
brought science to life at these seminars.

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And I've heard glowing reviews about them,
and I hope you found them fun, as well.

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And I want to thank you for inspiring the
next generation of artists and scientists,

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architects and engineers, innovators and educators
and for your contributions to the advancement

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of design. Thank you so very, very much.
And as I mentioned, the crossroads of science

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and art, innovation and inspiration are what
I love about design. So I'm honored to introduce

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a man who represents the combination of both.
Wayne Clough, the man who leads one of our

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nation's premier cultural institutions as
Secretary to the Smithsonian, is a trained

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civil engineer. His years at Georgia Tech
planted him firmly on the science and technology

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end of the spectrum. But here he is, ably
leading, right -- he's doing a good job -- (laughter

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and applause) -- he is ably leading the organization
famous for housing the treasures of both science

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and art, the wonders of nature and mankind,
and the marvels of the heavens and the earth.

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He is the perfect example of the symbiotic
character of science and art. And I am so

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honored to introduce him to you today, our
wonderful guest, our host, someone who make

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my life easier as we explore the Smithsonians
with my kids, Wayne Clough. Thank you all.

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(Applause.)

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MRS. OBAMA: Well, thank you. Yes, it is a
little warm. (Laughter.) But it was cool in

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there -- there's some cool air coming out.
But I want to thank you so much for having

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me here today. It's a pleasure to be with
all of you to cut the ribbon and declare Caroline

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Family Practice Community Health Center officially
open for business. That's a good thing. (Applause.)

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So you've been open for a little bit, but
this is the official opening.

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I want to thank Rod for that wonderful introduction
and for everything that he's done and the

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Central Virginia Health Services are doing
to keep families and communities healthy across

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this nation.
I want to do a few more thank you's. I want

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to thank and acknowledge Bettina Reed, who
you just saw, the Site Director here at Caroline

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Family Practice, for her tireless hard work
in getting this center up and running in such

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a short period of time. It's a miraculous
endeavor even when you do have the money.

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So this is a wonderful thing.
I also want to recognize Mary Wakefield, who

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I saw earlier. I think she's in the air-conditioned
room, but don't be mad. (Laughter.) She's

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the Administrator of the Health Resources
and Services Administration, and some of her

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colleagues are here with us today, and I want
to recognize them for their work to promote

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centers like this all throughout the country.
And we also have the First Lady of Virginia

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here, a good friend of mine, and her lovely
daughter, Anne and Annella, who are joining

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us here. We're thrilled that they could come.
I've gotten to know this lady over the course

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of the last couple of years, and I just love
her to death, and I am grateful for everything

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that she and her husband and her family are
doing to support places like this. And it

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means so much that you're here, because I
know this is your thing just as much as anyone's.

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I also want to thank the Vice Chair of the
Caroline County Board of Supervisors, Max

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Rozell; the Mayor of Bowling Green who's here,
David Storke; Town Manager, Steve Manster,

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for all their dedication and leadership -- because
none of this stuff happens without the right

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leadership. So, thank you.
And finally, I have to thank all the health

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care providers who are here and all the health
care providers who are listening -– the

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doctors and the nurses and all the others
who've chosen to work in underserved communities

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like this one. When you know that many of
these folks could have gone to fancy practices

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and made a lot more money, it's just important
to know that there are people who are making

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commitments to places like Bowling Green,
and they're making these communities a primary

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focus of their practice. And we have to commend
those folks and encourage others to join them

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in what is a fulfilling and important endeavor.
So we have to acknowledge all of them for

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their hard work. (Applause.)
And that's sort of one of the things I'd like

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to talk a little bit about -- oh, no, one
more person -- Ms. Maggie James, who -- I

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don't know if you know, but I know she is
the oldest living person in Caroline County.

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And she came here to see me. (Applause.) She
is 109 years young, and looking great in that

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fuchsia. (Laughter.) It's pink, but it's fabulous.
(Laughter.) And I'm grateful, Ms. James, that

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you came to see me.
But I wanted to talk a bit about why the work

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that everyone is doing here is so critical,
not just in this community, but all across

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the nation –- and not just for the health
of our families, but for the future of our

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entire health care system.
So I know many of you have been following

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the debate that's going on out there in Washington
where I live now. And I know that with all

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the numbers, and the ads, and the back-and-forth
on TV news shows, it gets easy to lose sight

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about what it's all about -- all that discussion.
But as I've traveled the country over the

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past couple years, campaigning for my husband,
and even working in health administration,

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no matter where I've gone, no matter who I've
been talking to, they always want to talk

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about health care. I don't care if you're
lucky enough to have a good health care system

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or not, you either know someone who has struggled
under the current system, and it has been

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the number-one issue on the minds of the majority
of Americans that I've talked to.

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And I think that there's one fact –- one
statistic –- that should remind us all exactly

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what's at stake here, and that is that we
spend more money on health care than any other

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nation on Earth. We do, already today. Yet
we are nowhere near the healthiest. And that

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says something. We're nowhere near the healthiest.
In fact, people in some of the countries that

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spend less than we do are actually living
longer than we do here in this nation. And

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one of the main -- that's other than Ms. James,
of course. (Laughter.)

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And one of the main reasons for this is the
reason why we're all here today –- and it's

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because that right now, today here in America,
60 million people in this country don't have

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adequate access to primary care. They don't
have any access at all. Many of them are uninsured

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and can't afford any kind of health care at
all. That's a good chunk of them. Many actually

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have insurance, but live in underserved areas,
like this one –- inner cities or small rural

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towns where there aren't any primary care
providers to speak of. They have to drive

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hours.
So what happens to folks in America in this

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situation is that they don't get check-ups.
They don't get regular, routine screenings

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that keep us healthy. When they get sick,
their only option is to wait until it gets

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so bad that they have to visit the emergency
room. And then they wind up lurching from

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illness to illness, and crisis to crisis,
getting emergency care instead of health care.

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And we wind up spending billions of dollars
each year to treat diseases that –- for

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far less money –- we could prevent in the
first place.

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We will spend thousands of dollars for an
emergency room visit and hospital stay for

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a child, for example, having an acute asthma
attack that could have been prevented by a

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$100 doctor's visit and a $50 inhaler. We'll
spend tens of thousands to treat complications

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from diabetes that could have been prevented
by a couple hundred dollars worth of counseling

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on nutrition and blood sugar monitoring. And
today, chronic -– and preventable -- illnesses

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like diabetes and obesity, heart disease and
high blood pressure consume 85 percent of

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all health care spending in this country.
That's what we're spending our money on here.

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And if you think that's bad, just wait a few
years. Because right now, if we think about

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our children, nearly a third of them in this
country are overweight or obese, and a third

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will suffer from diabetes at some point in
their lifetimes. In the African American and

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Hispanic communities, that number goes up
to half -- half of all those kids will be

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in that situation. It's gotten so bad that
this week, experts from across the country

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are meeting in Washington for what they're
calling a "Weight of the Nation" conference

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sponsored by the CDC to discuss how we can
address the rising threat of obesity, particularly

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in our children.
So we know that something is not quite right

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with the current system. We sort of know that.
Our experiences tell us that. We know we need

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to start focusing on primary care and preventative
care –- on promoting wellness, and not just

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treating sickness.
That's the mission of this community center

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and health centers like it across the country
that serve 17 million of our fellow citizens

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-– not just to make diagnoses and hand out
prescriptions, but to understand why people

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are getting sick in the first place, and how
they can get healthy and stay healthy in the

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future.
See, when someone goes to the emergency room

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with a fever or a sore throat, chances are
they'll get a quick exam, they'll get some

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antibiotics, and they’ll get a pretty hefty
bill. But when they come to a place like this,

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the providers here may very well ask them
when they had their last blood pressure checked.

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Or they'll delve a little deeper -- they might
ask whether they're getting regular mammograms,

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and how often they exercise, and if they've
gotten that mole on their arm checked out.

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They just dig a little bit deeper in places
like this. It's an approach to care that's

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about curing illness and preventing it at
the same time.

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And it's an approach that's about making sure
that people can actually take advantage of

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the care that's provided. There's a whole
'nother level to care, making sure that people

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actually can access what's available. In community
health centers across the country, they don't

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just give people appointments; they help folks
find transportation to actually get to those

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appointments.
Right here, folks don't just write prescriptions;

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they make sure that people can actually fill
them out, that they can connect with programs

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to ensure that they do. And folks here don't
just tell someone that they need a specialist,

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but they actually get on the phone and find
that specialist, even if it means making dozens

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of calls until they find someone that the
patient can afford.

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In places like this, care is provided in languages
that patients can understand, in a way that's

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respectful of their various cultures, and
that takes into account the challenges they

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face in their everyday life.
Ultimately, practice here isn't just about

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diagnosing problems –- it's about caring
for people. It's about educating people so

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that they can better educate themselves. And
it's about giving people the security of knowing

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that health care will be there for them and
their families whenever they need it.

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And when you get right down to it, that's
what the debate in Washington is all about.

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And if you really think about it, that's why
my husband and so many folks in Congress are

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fighting so hard for reform that lowers people's
costs and ensures that all families have good

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coverage that they can actually afford.
What they're doing is critical not just for

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the work this center is doing here in Bowling
Green, but for all people across this country.

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It's critical to all of us. And that's one
of the key points that I want to make: that

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health insurance reform isn't just about the
nearly 46 million Americans who don't have

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insurance; it's also about all those folks
who do.

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If you think about it for a minute, right
now, for example, you might have a good plan

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that you really like and think our health
system is great just the way it is. Show of

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hands? (Laughter.)
But the question becomes, even if you're in

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that situation, what happens if you lose your
job, and then your coverage goes away, and

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then you can't find a new job right away?
Those are some of the stories I've heard.

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Or if you want to change jobs, but your new
employer doesn't offer any insurance at all

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because more and more employers are finding
it difficult to keep up with the cost of health

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care? Or what if you decide you want to change
insurance plans, but your new insurer decides

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that you have a preexisting condition, or
your age or your gender or your health status

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means that they need to charge you a fortune
for that insurance? What if you get sick,

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and they decide you're too expensive to insure?
That happens. And then they drop your coverage

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completely. See, these are the things that
happen to hardworking, responsible people

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who've done exactly what they thought they
should do. It's happening every single day

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across this country.
And of course, there are plenty of folks who

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won't experience any of these misfortunes.
There really are. They're blessed. And despite

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rising costs and declining coverage, some
of them are convinced that things are just

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fine right now. But even if that were true,
even if the status quo were acceptable to

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us, then the question becomes, what about
10 years from now?

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If we don't pass reform, within a decade we'll
actually be spending one out of every five

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dollars we earn on health insurance. In 30
years, when my kids are ready to come into

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the world, it will be one in every three dollars
spent on health care. So think about that

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-- one in every three dollars by the time
our kids get to be where we are. And without

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reform, what we spend on Medicaid and Medicare
-- government programs -- will eventually

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be more than what our government spends on
anything else -- anything else -- that we

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spend today.

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Right now, premiums are rising three times
faster than wages -- right now, today. And

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if we don't pass reform, they're going to
keep on rising in this way. So think about

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how much we'll be paying 10 years from now
without reform. That's what we have to project.

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Folks who have insurance they like now could
find themselves overwhelmed with sky-high

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premiums and much higher out-of-pocket costs.
Think about all the businesses that will have

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to drop their coverage or lay people off,
if we don't pass reform, because they can't

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afford the cost. Think about the millions
of people who will lose their coverage, and

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many whom will wind up using the emergency
room as their primary care provider, which

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will mean higher costs for all of us.
And then let's go back to the statistics on

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the childhood obesity and diabetes for a minute.
If a third of our kids are overweight or obese

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now, what's that going to mean 10 years from
now? How much will we be spending on obesity-related

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conditions like heart disease and cancer and
high blood pressure in 10, 20, 30 years? How

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much money will our economy lose in missed
days of work and decreased productivity? And

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how much will all of this diminish our quality
of life here in this nation?

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And what does it mean that for the first time
in the history of our nation, medical experts

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today warn that this generation -- my children,
our grandchildren -- may be on track to have

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a shorter lifespan than their parents?
You know, this isn't who we are as Americans.

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If there's one thing that defines what it
means to be an American, is that we always

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do better for our kids. We always do better
for our kids. We sacrifice so that we can

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give them opportunities and advantages that
we never had. That's what I was taught. That

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is our obligation to the next generation.
That's why my husband and I think about -- that's

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what we think about at night when we tuck
our kids in. We don't think about the life

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they have today, we think about the life we're
going to provide for them when they're older.

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And that's why he ran for President in the
first place. It's not about us, it's not about

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now; he's running because of the world he
wants to leave them. That's why he's fighting

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so hard to fix our health care system. Not
just to make it more affordable today; not

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just to ensure that it covers more people;
but to make sure that it provides better,

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higher-quality care that makes us all healthier.
All of us.

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That's why his plan makes historic investments
in prevention and wellness –- investments

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to help people quit smoking, and to lose weight,
and get immunizations and screenings.

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That's why he included $2 billion in the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act to upgrade and

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expand community health centers, including
the $1.3 million to fund the one that we're

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here to open today. This money is going to
allow for the expansion of desperately-needed

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primary care services to more than 2.8 million
more people, and it's going to create jobs

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in places that desperately need them, as well.
And that's why he's investing $300 million

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00:36:14,810 --> 00:36:19,90
in the Recovery Act for the National Health
Service Corps -- something we talked about

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in our earlier meeting. It's an outstanding
program that helps doctors, dentists, nurses

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00:36:24,10 --> 00:36:29,940
and other health care providers repay their
student loans in exchange for practicing in

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places like this. It’s a great idea. And
I want to take a moment to recognize all the

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current and former Corps members who are here
with us today, who shared their stories –- because

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we're so proud of you and so grateful for
your contributions to these communities all

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over the nation -- because you could be doing
something else.

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The new investments in this program will more
than double its capacity. Right now there

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are 38* Corps members serving four million
Americans; with the new money there will be

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8,000 providers serving 8.5 million Americans
by the end of next year if we get this passed.

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And many of them will be working in community
health centers just like this one, doing the

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kind of work that means so much to so many
Americans.

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And that's what Dr. Regina Benjamin –- who
is my husband's nominee for our next Surgeon

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General –- this is what she did after graduating
from medical school. She joined the Corps,

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and was sent down to Alabama. And what does
she do? She stayed there, eventually running

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the clinic herself. And those were stories
that we heard here today. And what she said

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she was doing was so meaningful that, as she
put it, she said, "I don't feel like I'm giving

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to the community. I think they're giving to
me." And I heard those same sentiments echoed

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by the National Health Corps members who are
here.

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In the end, that's what the work in this community
center is all about. It's about the human

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connections that people make with the people
and the communities that they serve. It's

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about the steps you take above and beyond
what's required, because you really care about

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your patients. It's about the peace of mind
that you give to people with nowhere else

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to turn. And that is the story of community
health centers in America.

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It's the story of a man named Ed who was diagnosed
with acute myeloid leukemia at a community

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health center in Oklahoma. The center not
only got him to the oncology services he needed,

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they came to his house to draw blood when
his immune system was too weak for him to

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go outside. That's the kind of work you do.

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It's the story of a man named Randy, all the
way in Indiana, who went to a community health

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center because of an allergic reaction to
his blood pressure medication. The doctor

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there noticed the lump on his neck and did
some tests, and diagnosed him with cancer.

387
00:38:53,730 --> 00:38:59,290
Randy had no insurance and no way to pay for
treatment, but that didn't stop the clinic's

388
00:38:59,290 --> 00:39:04,529
Medical Director and CEO. They spent hours
making calls until they found a surgeon who

389
00:39:04,530 --> 00:39:09,240
would treat him at a reduced fee. And today,
Randy is cancer free.

390
00:39:09,240 --> 00:39:13,830
And then there's the story of a nine-year-old
boy named Michael who was brought to a community

391
00:39:13,830 --> 00:39:18,370
health center in Kansas with a high fever
and an abscessed tooth -- something that you

392
00:39:18,370 --> 00:39:24,799
will see here on a regular basis. After having
been in severe pain for weeks, he finally

393
00:39:24,800 --> 00:39:29,300
got the treatment that he needed. And then
when the staff of the center later came to

394
00:39:29,300 --> 00:39:33,780
his school to screen the other kids, they
said Randy took their hands and walked into

395
00:39:33,780 --> 00:39:39,890
his classroom, and announced to his classmates,
"These are my friends and they will help you."

396
00:39:39,890 --> 00:39:45,450
These are the stories you'll soon be telling
here at this center. Wonderful stories. I've

397
00:39:45,450 --> 00:39:50,640
heard some of them already. And that's why
so many folks in Washington are putting in

398
00:39:50,640 --> 00:39:55,700
these long hours to pass health insurance
reform -- because all our families deserve

399
00:39:55,700 --> 00:40:00,80
this kind of care, and all our kids deserve
the chance to have a healthy future.

400
00:40:00,80 --> 00:40:05,520
And I think it's fitting that the town of
Bowling Green used to be called "New Hope

401
00:40:05,520 --> 00:40:10,100
Village" -- that's what I was told -- because
that's exactly what this center will be giving

402
00:40:10,100 --> 00:40:15,200
to so many folks in this community. And we
look forward to supporting you in this work

403
00:40:15,200 --> 00:40:19,950
in the months and years ahead.
Thank you so much for your work, and God bless

404
00:40:19,950 --> 00:40:23,710
you all. Now let's get this opened. (Applause.)
Thank you.

405
00:40:23,710 --> 00:40:25,400
MRS. OBAMA: Well, hello!

406
00:40:25,400 --> 00:40:26,240
CHILDREN: Hello!

407
00:40:26,240 --> 00:40:30,470
MRS. OBAMA: It's good to see everybody. Perfect
weather, right?

408
00:40:30,470 --> 00:40:31,310
CHILDREN: Yes!

409
00:40:31,310 --> 00:40:38,310
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you so much. I am thrilled
to have you all here today at the White House.

410
00:40:38,930 --> 00:40:43,790
And I also want to thank a few people before
we start, not just the young people here who

411
00:40:43,790 --> 00:40:47,130
also -- some of you brought your parents,
so let's see the parents. Give the parents

412
00:40:47,130 --> 00:40:51,990
a round of applause. (Applause.)

413
00:40:51,990 --> 00:40:55,790
But in addition to all of you, we've got a
few pretty special guests. We've got some

414
00:40:55,790 --> 00:41:01,490
talented chefs and nutritionists here to teach
us how to make healthy breakfasts, lunches

415
00:41:01,490 --> 00:41:02,549
and snacks.

416
00:41:02,550 --> 00:41:08,790
So I want to first want to introduce Koren
Grieveson, who I just got to meet. Koren,

417
00:41:08,790 --> 00:41:15,790
where are you? There she is, over there. (Applause.)
She's from my hometown, Chicago. (Applause.)

418
00:41:16,30 --> 00:41:17,930
Yay for Chicago.

419
00:41:17,930 --> 00:41:23,20
And then we have Todd Gray. Todd, where are
you? Raise your hand. Todd is from my new

420
00:41:23,20 --> 00:41:29,910
hometown right here in Washington, D.C. (Applause.)

421
00:41:29,910 --> 00:41:35,520
And then we've got Sam Kass who a lot of you
probably met -- (applause) -- but Sam is in

422
00:41:35,520 --> 00:41:42,520
charge of the White House Garden, so he oversees
all of that along with all of our wonderful

423
00:41:42,690 --> 00:41:47,520
White House chefs. Everybody from the White
House team, raise your hands, all of our White

424
00:41:47,520 --> 00:41:52,60
House crew. (Applause.)

425
00:41:52,60 --> 00:41:59,60
And we also have Vahista Ussery and the rest
of the staff from the School Nutrition Association

426
00:41:59,180 --> 00:42:03,750
who are on the frontlines every day in our
schools. (Applause.) So Vahista, where are

427
00:42:03,750 --> 00:42:08,30
you and all of the nutrition experts? (Applause.)

428
00:42:08,30 --> 00:42:13,320
And Elie Krieger, one of the nutritionists
from the Food Network, she's way in the back

429
00:42:13,320 --> 00:42:18,200
with her family. Thank you, Elie. (Applause.)

430
00:42:18,200 --> 00:42:25,200
And I want to thank all the folks from the
YMCA and Playworks. They helped us set up

431
00:42:25,230 --> 00:42:28,910
all the fun things that we're going to have
to do after we get through talking. So let's

432
00:42:28,910 --> 00:42:35,660
give them a round of applause. (Applause.)

433
00:42:35,660 --> 00:42:42,660
(Inaudible) -- U.S. Department of Agriculture
for joining us today and for all of his hard

434
00:42:43,980 --> 00:42:49,450
work and leadership on making our food and
our schools healthier. He's been doing a phenomenal

435
00:42:49,450 --> 00:42:56,450
job. And it seems like just yesterday that
Secretary Vilsack and I were out here to begin

436
00:42:56,690 --> 00:43:02,690
digging for the garden. And it seems like
just yesterday.

437
00:43:02,690 --> 00:43:08,90
And one of our goals was to focus on the importance
of educating our kids about healthy eating.

438
00:43:08,90 --> 00:43:13,90
So it wasn't just about planting a garden.
It was also to begin to talk about nutrition

439
00:43:13,90 --> 00:43:18,420
and to highlight the little ways that each
of us can add more healthy fruits and vegetables

440
00:43:18,420 --> 00:43:22,890
to our diet, something that I think about
all the time as a mother.

441
00:43:22,890 --> 00:43:29,160
We felt that this was especially important
right now when so many children in this nation

442
00:43:29,160 --> 00:43:34,440
are facing health problems that are entirely
preventable. So we've got our kids who are

443
00:43:34,440 --> 00:43:38,390
struggling with things that we have the power
to control.

444
00:43:38,390 --> 00:43:45,140
Right now one in three children in this country
are overweight or obese. And as I've said

445
00:43:45,140 --> 00:43:51,680
many times before, if we think we're dealing
with a serious health problem now, you know,

446
00:43:51,680 --> 00:43:57,930
then we project out to five, 10, 20 years
from now when we see these rates increase

447
00:43:57,930 --> 00:44:03,60
and all the illnesses that result from obesity,
whether it's high blood pressure, or heart

448
00:44:03,60 --> 00:44:06,310
disease, cancer.

449
00:44:06,310 --> 00:44:11,520
And believe it or not, which is a very surprising
thing, medical experts are now warning that

450
00:44:11,520 --> 00:44:18,520
for the first time in the history of this
nation, we're headed for the next generation

451
00:44:18,880 --> 00:44:24,540
being on track to have a shorter life span
than us. That's the way we're going right

452
00:44:24,540 --> 00:44:25,830
now.

453
00:44:25,830 --> 00:44:31,770
And none of us wants that. None of us wants
that for our children and for our children's

454
00:44:31,770 --> 00:44:37,310
futures. Even if we don't care about ourselves,
we don't want that for our kids. We want our

455
00:44:37,310 --> 00:44:43,640
children to eat right, not just because it's
the right thing to do but because quite frankly

456
00:44:43,640 --> 00:44:50,40
healthy good food tastes good and we want
them to experience that. We don't just want

457
00:44:50,40 --> 00:44:54,850
our kids to exercise because we tell them
to. We want them to exercise because it's

458
00:44:54,850 --> 00:45:01,850
fun and they enjoy it. And we want them to
learn now how to lead good, healthy lifestyles

459
00:45:01,970 --> 00:45:06,259
so that they're not struggling to figure out
how to do that when they're older.

460
00:45:06,260 --> 00:45:13,130
But as a parent, and I know all of you here
today, we know that sometimes doing all that

461
00:45:13,130 --> 00:45:20,130
is easier said than done, because we all care
but it is becoming so increasingly difficult

462
00:45:21,300 --> 00:45:28,170
to provide all that for our kids. And you
all know that better than anyone here, as

463
00:45:28,170 --> 00:45:34,800
parents. We're all pulled in a million different
directions, working hard, working long hours,

464
00:45:34,800 --> 00:45:40,830
trying to do everything, be perfect parents.
We love you guys so much we just want everything

465
00:45:40,830 --> 00:45:42,350
for you.

466
00:45:42,350 --> 00:45:46,110
But it's hard to do everything. And when you
come home from a long day at work, and the

467
00:45:46,110 --> 00:45:52,320
refrigerator is empty, and you know you don't
feel like cooking -- (laughter) -- the easiest

468
00:45:52,320 --> 00:45:58,350
and sometimes the cheapest thing to do is
to get in a fast food drive-thru. We've all

469
00:45:58,350 --> 00:46:05,000
done it because we are overwhelmed and we
don't know what the options are.

470
00:46:05,000 --> 00:46:10,140
And today life is so different from when I
was growing up, kids. And I know your parents

471
00:46:10,140 --> 00:46:15,670
tell you this. I tell my kids this. When I
was growing up, fast food was a treat. You

472
00:46:15,670 --> 00:46:21,80
know, we couldn't afford to get fast food
every week, because my parents couldn't afford

473
00:46:21,80 --> 00:46:25,110
it, so it was something you did on a special
occasion.

474
00:46:25,110 --> 00:46:31,360
We had pizza about once every school year
-- once every semester when we got good grades.

475
00:46:31,360 --> 00:46:35,510
That's when we got pizza. It was pizza day.
That's what we got for getting good grades,

476
00:46:35,510 --> 00:46:36,420
pizza.

477
00:46:36,420 --> 00:46:41,880
And we didn't have dessert every single night.
My mother would tell us, "Dessert is not a

478
00:46:41,880 --> 00:46:47,910
right. It's a treat." So we had it on special
occasions. We didn't have -- and I have to

479
00:46:47,910 --> 00:46:52,200
tell my kids this -- you don't get dessert
every night of the week. Otherwise it's not

480
00:46:52,200 --> 00:46:56,9
a treat; it's just something that you do.

481
00:46:56,10 --> 00:47:03,10
And my mother was also very clear in our household
that you ate what she fixed. Mmm, yes. (Laughter.)

482
00:47:05,820 --> 00:47:11,690
You ate what she fixed, and if you didn't
eat that, then you didn't eat. And in my household

483
00:47:11,690 --> 00:47:16,110
-- is if you say you're not hungry, then you
have to eat your vegetables, and then you

484
00:47:16,110 --> 00:47:21,70
get up and leave, and you don't ask for anything
else, and go to bed, right?

485
00:47:21,70 --> 00:47:25,910
So these are the kind of rules that I grew
up with, that all of your moms and your dads

486
00:47:25,910 --> 00:47:31,69
grew up with, and these are the kind of rules
and boundaries and guidelines that we want

487
00:47:31,70 --> 00:47:34,000
to set for all of you.

488
00:47:34,000 --> 00:47:41,000
But in my household, there were no absolutes,
right? I mean, we love good food, too. That's

489
00:47:41,120 --> 00:47:46,69
why I always say there's nothing that the
First Family loves more than a good burger,

490
00:47:46,70 --> 00:47:51,560
right? (Laughter.) And look, my favorite food
in the whole wide world are French fries.

491
00:47:51,560 --> 00:47:57,799
I love them. Dearly. (Laughter.) Deeply. (Laughter.)
I have a good relationship with French fries

492
00:47:57,800 --> 00:48:04,800
and I would eat them every single day if I
could. I really would. But I know that if

493
00:48:05,490 --> 00:48:09,419
I'm eating the right things -- and I tell
my girls this -- if you're getting the right

494
00:48:09,420 --> 00:48:14,270
foods for most of the time, then when it's
time to have cake and french fries on those

495
00:48:14,270 --> 00:48:17,710
special occasions, then you balance it out.

496
00:48:17,710 --> 00:48:23,690
So it's not about any absolute no's. It's
just about striking a balance. And that's

497
00:48:23,690 --> 00:48:27,630
what I know your moms are trying to teach
you all. That's what I'm trying to teach my

498
00:48:27,630 --> 00:48:28,810
girls.

499
00:48:28,810 --> 00:48:33,900
But these days, even when parents do have
the time and the resources to buy healthy

500
00:48:33,900 --> 00:48:39,480
foods and make a simple meal at home, the
reality is that kids are spending a third

501
00:48:39,480 --> 00:48:44,270
of their time at school, right? So we don't
have control over what you eat when you're

502
00:48:44,270 --> 00:48:49,000
at school. So even when we're -- when we're
working hard to give our kids healthy food

503
00:48:49,000 --> 00:48:54,10
at home, if they go to school and eat a lunch
that's loaded with calories and fat, then

504
00:48:54,10 --> 00:49:01,10
all the efforts that we try to instill at
home, it gets knocked off a little bit.

505
00:49:01,340 --> 00:49:06,710
And many kids don't have any access to physical
education in the schools -- and that's also

506
00:49:06,710 --> 00:49:11,290
something that's also changed. When I grew
up -- and I went to public schools in my neighborhood

507
00:49:11,290 --> 00:49:18,290
-- I don't care what you did; you had recess
and you had gym on a very regular basis. So

508
00:49:19,20 --> 00:49:24,100
even though we're encouraging our kids to
exercise, if they can't go to school and that

509
00:49:24,100 --> 00:49:29,930
-- get the same kind of exercise opportunities,
then it makes our jobs as parents harder.

510
00:49:29,930 --> 00:49:36,640
And one of the things that I want to do is
to begin focusing on ways that this administration

511
00:49:36,640 --> 00:49:42,970
can help parents, kids and families in tackling
all these challenges. We want to make it a

512
00:49:42,970 --> 00:49:48,259
little easier on you all -- not just tell
you what to do and what you should look like,

513
00:49:48,260 --> 00:49:53,810
but help you with some resources so that it
doesn't feel so impossible.

514
00:49:53,810 --> 00:49:57,690
And that's one of the reasons why we're here
today, because we know that schools can play

515
00:49:57,690 --> 00:50:03,700
an important role in the work that we hope
to achieve. And that's why the Department

516
00:50:03,700 --> 00:50:10,700
of Agriculture has started this wonderful
challenge called Healthier U.S. School Challenge.

517
00:50:11,150 --> 00:50:16,90
And the goal of this challenge is to find
schools who are going to commit to making

518
00:50:16,90 --> 00:50:21,370
fresh healthy food available -- we want them
to pledge that, that's part of the challenge

519
00:50:21,370 --> 00:50:26,370
-- but in addition to making healthy foods
available, getting rid of the junk food in

520
00:50:26,370 --> 00:50:33,290
the school, making that pledge, get rid of
it, but also to be sure that they're setting

521
00:50:33,290 --> 00:50:40,290
aside time for physical activity during the
day in the curriculum and teaching kids about

522
00:50:40,640 --> 00:50:44,970
healthy food choices during the day.

523
00:50:44,970 --> 00:50:50,970
And I am pleased to announce that there are
about 635 schools from across the country

524
00:50:50,970 --> 00:50:56,830
who have met the challenge, and we have some
of those schools with us today.

525
00:50:56,830 --> 00:51:03,830
But my goal is to challenge more schools and
more communities to take part in this, particularly

526
00:51:04,670 --> 00:51:09,470
middle and high school students, because right
now those 635 students are at the elementary

527
00:51:09,470 --> 00:51:14,410
school level, and we need to take this challenge
up to kids in middle schools and high schools.

528
00:51:14,410 --> 00:51:19,819
So I'm looking forward to visiting some of
the schools that have joined the Healthy School

529
00:51:19,820 --> 00:51:24,870
Challenge. That's a pledge that I have. If
your school commits to this challenge, there's

530
00:51:24,870 --> 00:51:30,140
a possibility that I'll come and check it
out. But I'm not coming if you're not a part

531
00:51:30,140 --> 00:51:36,20
of the challenge, right? So we want to get
more schools to follow this lead.

532
00:51:36,20 --> 00:51:41,400
And of course changing old habits is never
easy. That's why it's going to take a broader

533
00:51:41,400 --> 00:51:46,580
team effort with everyone pitching in, and
it's going to take government doing its part.

534
00:51:46,580 --> 00:51:51,980
And that's why this administration is going
to be working hard to reauthorize our federal

535
00:51:51,980 --> 00:51:58,600
Child Nutrition program, because with 30 million
kids relying on a school breakfast or a lunch

536
00:51:58,600 --> 00:52:02,770
as one of their primary meals of the day,
we need to make sure that these meals are

537
00:52:02,770 --> 00:52:07,980
nutritious and well balanced, and that more
kids can have access so that they don't have

538
00:52:07,980 --> 00:52:09,810
to go hungry in school.

539
00:52:09,810 --> 00:52:15,299
And the chefs and nutritionists here today
are going to show us how we can use the food

540
00:52:15,300 --> 00:52:22,300
that the USDA provides to schools as a way
to prepare really tasty, healthy foods. That's

541
00:52:23,750 --> 00:52:27,850
why they're here today, because they're going
to take that food that you get in the schools

542
00:52:27,850 --> 00:52:32,490
and do some special stuff to show that with
the food that we have, we can probably do

543
00:52:32,490 --> 00:52:34,240
even better than we're doing.

544
00:52:34,240 --> 00:52:41,240
We'll also need all you kids to be a part
of that. Now, I know you're dozing off. I

545
00:52:42,420 --> 00:52:48,20
see it. (Laughter.) It's hot, I want to play.
(Laughter.) But we're going to need you, too.

546
00:52:48,20 --> 00:52:49,690
And what are we going to need you to do?

547
00:52:49,690 --> 00:52:51,330
CHILD: Stay healthy.

548
00:52:51,330 --> 00:52:54,60
MRS. OBAMA: Yes, sir. What?

549
00:52:54,60 --> 00:52:54,820
CHILD: Stay healthy.

550
00:52:54,820 --> 00:52:57,640
MRS. OBAMA: Stay healthy. And how do you stay
healthy?

551
00:52:57,640 --> 00:53:00,950
CHILD: Eating the right things.

552
00:53:00,950 --> 00:53:04,480
MRS. OBAMA: Eating the right things. We're
going to need you to help your parents with

553
00:53:04,480 --> 00:53:07,730
these choices. So when vegetables on your
plate -- we don't want to hear, "I don't want

554
00:53:07,730 --> 00:53:14,730
to eat it. I don't like it." (Laughter.) "It
tastes bad. I don't want it." We don't want

555
00:53:17,60 --> 00:53:23,000
to hear the whining. We want you to eat it.
Just eat it, right? (Laughter.)

556
00:53:23,000 --> 00:53:26,670
And what else do we need you to do? If you're
going to be strong and healthy, what do we

557
00:53:26,670 --> 00:53:28,750
need you to do?

558
00:53:28,750 --> 00:53:32,250
CHILD: Be good, be healthy, and be nice.

559
00:53:32,250 --> 00:53:38,280
MRS. OBAMA: Be good, be healthy, and be nice.
(Laughter.) Yes. And exercise. You've got

560
00:53:38,280 --> 00:53:41,220
to play. So in order to play, you've got to
turn off what?

561
00:53:41,220 --> 00:53:41,680
CHILDREN: TV.

562
00:53:41,680 --> 00:53:48,299
MRS. OBAMA: Turn off the TV. In our household,
no TV during school days. And only a couple

563
00:53:48,300 --> 00:53:54,490
hours during the weekend, I'm sorry. But because
the TV is off, my girls get up and they move.

564
00:53:54,490 --> 00:53:58,439
Even if they're pushing each other down, they're
running. (Laughter.)

565
00:53:58,440 --> 00:54:03,720
So we're going to need you to help your parents.
Turn off the TV on your own. Get up and throw

566
00:54:03,720 --> 00:54:09,950
a ball. Run around the house. Don't break
anything, but move. Try to go outside if you

567
00:54:09,950 --> 00:54:10,460
can.

568
00:54:10,460 --> 00:54:16,140
That's why we're here at the White House,
because we're reaching out to schools, to

569
00:54:16,140 --> 00:54:22,290
families, to kids. And we're inviting you
guys to be a part of our team and think about

570
00:54:22,290 --> 00:54:24,590
all of us doing our part.

571
00:54:24,590 --> 00:54:29,310
And one of the children who came here and
helped us with the garden -- this was a very

572
00:54:29,310 --> 00:54:35,190
powerful moment in this whole garden experience,
was after we planted and we harvested and

573
00:54:35,190 --> 00:54:39,670
we ate together, the kids talked about this
experience.

574
00:54:39,670 --> 00:54:44,510
Some of the kids from Bancroft School -- yay
-- (applause) -- they're a little older than

575
00:54:44,510 --> 00:54:50,400
you, but they were fifth-graders. And one
of them -- a few of them wrote that -- she

576
00:54:50,400 --> 00:54:56,60
said she's "a pretty regular fifth-grader
who loves sweets." And she said because of

577
00:54:56,60 --> 00:55:01,630
her time in the garden, she said "…has made
me think about the choices I have with what

578
00:55:01,630 --> 00:55:08,190
I put in my mouth." So she learned about the
power of what choices she makes -- not what

579
00:55:08,190 --> 00:55:13,20
her mom tells her what to do, not what her
teachers, but the choices that she makes.

580
00:55:13,20 --> 00:55:19,650
And another child wrote -- he said -- it was
inspired -- "It has inspired us to eat better

581
00:55:19,650 --> 00:55:21,700
and work harder."

582
00:55:21,700 --> 00:55:25,700
And then there was the student who wrote with
great excitement about what he learned about

583
00:55:25,700 --> 00:55:30,89
tomatoes. I remember this because he read
this report to me. He said, not just that

584
00:55:30,90 --> 00:55:35,790
they're both a fruit and a vegetable but that
"…they fight diseases like cancer and heart

585
00:55:35,790 --> 00:55:40,850
problems, and that they have a lot of vitamins
in them, too." And armed with that knowledge,

586
00:55:40,850 --> 00:55:47,850
he declared, "So the tomato is a fruit and
it is now my best friend." (Laughter.)

587
00:55:48,20 --> 00:55:52,800
That's what we want you all to think, that
vegetables and fruits are not the enemy; it

588
00:55:52,800 --> 00:55:57,560
is the power to a good future. And in the
end, that's what we're all trying to do here.

589
00:55:57,560 --> 00:56:01,450
That's why we've invited you to the South
Lawn. That's why all these cameras are here.

590
00:56:01,450 --> 00:56:07,740
That's why Secretary Vilsack is here, because
we are now focused on your future and what

591
00:56:07,740 --> 00:56:12,370
are you going to feel like and be. And part
of that has to do with your health. And it

592
00:56:12,370 --> 00:56:15,920
starts with how you eat and how you exercise.

593
00:56:15,920 --> 00:56:21,380
So we hope you guys are all game to join the
fight. We hope that there are schools all

594
00:56:21,380 --> 00:56:26,980
across this country that will join the challenge.
We hope that there are more parents that are

595
00:56:26,980 --> 00:56:32,380
going to be focused in thinking about ways
that we can help you all.

596
00:56:32,380 --> 00:56:37,260
But I now want to turn it over to Secretary
Vilsack who has been a phenomenal partner

597
00:56:37,260 --> 00:56:43,580
in this effort. We couldn't do this without
the work of the Department of Agriculture,

598
00:56:43,580 --> 00:56:50,180
and he has been steadfast in this fight to
ensure that children have healthier options

599
00:56:50,180 --> 00:56:54,730
in the schools. So he has been a dear friend,
and I want you all to give him a big round

600
00:56:54,730 --> 00:57:01,390
of applause and welcome him to the podium.
Thank you so much. (Applause.)

601
00:57:01,390 --> 00:57:08,390
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone,
and welcome. I am so thrilled you could join

602
00:57:09,890 --> 00:57:16,830
us today as we mark National Breast Cancer
Awareness Month right here at the White House.

603
00:57:16,830 --> 00:57:23,110
And I want to thank Jill so much for that
kind introduction, as well as her phenomenal

604
00:57:23,110 --> 00:57:28,230
work that she's done to educate young women
about this disease.

605
00:57:28,230 --> 00:57:34,410
I think Jill is one of those examples of how
one passionate advocate can really make a

606
00:57:34,410 --> 00:57:39,529
difference, and we are grateful to you for
your leadership and the successes that you've

607
00:57:39,530 --> 00:57:45,900
had in your work. And most of all, I am grateful
to you for your friendship, as always.

608
00:57:45,900 --> 00:57:51,500
I also want to thank Tina Tchen, who many
of you already know for her outstanding work

609
00:57:51,500 --> 00:57:58,360
as Director of the Office of Public Engagement.
Tina, thank you so much. And I want to take

610
00:57:58,360 --> 00:58:05,360
a moment -- yes, let's give Tina -- (applause.)
I don't want to step on your applause, Tina.

611
00:58:06,520 --> 00:58:12,509
And I also want to take a moment to recognize
all of the survivors and the advocates who

612
00:58:12,510 --> 00:58:18,820
are here today who have worked so hard and
for so long to raise money and raise awareness

613
00:58:18,820 --> 00:58:25,430
to fight this disease, particularly Vernal,
Joni, and Venus, for having the courage to

614
00:58:25,430 --> 00:58:31,890
share their stories with us today. I mean,
it's hard getting up and speaking about good

615
00:58:31,890 --> 00:58:38,180
news, right, let alone to talk about something
that is so personal to a crowd of strangers

616
00:58:38,180 --> 00:58:41,230
and a whole lot of cameras. (Laughter.)

617
00:58:41,230 --> 00:58:46,540
So -- but it's important for them and for
us to remind them that it's sharing these

618
00:58:46,540 --> 00:58:51,890
stories that really makes a difference. It
takes the veil off of this disease, because

619
00:58:51,890 --> 00:58:57,350
it wasn't that long ago that people thought
that breast cancer was something to be ashamed

620
00:58:57,350 --> 00:59:04,350
of and to keep it a secret; something that
you didn't discuss in polite company. Some

621
00:59:05,630 --> 00:59:11,860
people even wondered, if you can believe it
or not, whether breast cancer was contagious.

622
00:59:11,860 --> 00:59:17,810
And at the first fundraising lunch hosted
by the Komen Foundation, the description of

623
00:59:17,810 --> 00:59:24,370
the event was written in one paper as a "women's
cancer event," because the word "breast" was

624
00:59:24,370 --> 00:59:27,460
considered too risqué to print.

625
00:59:27,460 --> 00:59:34,460
But then, people like you, all of you here,
started speaking out, including two of my

626
00:59:36,590 --> 00:59:43,590
predecessors, First Ladies Betty Ford and
Nancy Reagan. They began speaking out.

627
00:59:44,750 --> 00:59:50,210
Survivors and those who love them started
organizing and advocating and lobbying for

628
00:59:50,210 --> 00:59:54,150
more money, for more research, and better
treatment for this disease.

629
00:59:54,150 --> 01:00:00,340
And then folks like Venus and Jill started
working to educate and empower people to promote

630
01:00:00,340 --> 01:00:06,560
early detection and make sure that people
were getting the care that they needed.

631
01:00:06,560 --> 01:00:13,560
And today, because of that work, the number
of women getting regular mammograms has dramatically

632
01:00:14,510 --> 01:00:20,260
increased, and the five-year survival rate
when breast cancer is diagnosed in time is

633
01:00:20,260 --> 01:00:26,740
98 percent -- and that's compared to 74 percent
in the early 80s.

634
01:00:26,740 --> 01:00:33,500
And today, we spend $900 million on breast
cancer research, which is 30 times more than

635
01:00:33,500 --> 01:00:40,500
what we spent in 1982. So we have come a long
way. (Applause.)

636
01:00:42,000 --> 01:00:48,520
And you should all be proud of what you've
achieved to get us this far. But what we all

637
01:00:48,520 --> 01:00:55,520
know is that we are not finished yet. We are
not finished yet. We know we're not finished

638
01:00:55,790 --> 01:01:01,960
when nearly one in eight women is still diagnosed
with breast cancer in their lifetime -- a

639
01:01:01,960 --> 01:01:08,960
total of one woman every three minutes -- and
nearly 2,000 men are diagnosed each year as

640
01:01:09,550 --> 01:01:12,890
well, and that's something we don't often
discuss.

641
01:01:12,890 --> 01:01:19,660
And we know we're not finished when 40,000
women a year still die from this disease.

642
01:01:19,660 --> 01:01:26,580
That's one woman every 13 minutes who's dying
from this disease today.

643
01:01:26,580 --> 01:01:30,700
And we know we're not finished, especially
not when we have a health care system in this

644
01:01:30,700 --> 01:01:37,40
country that simply is not working for too
many people with breast cancer and too many

645
01:01:37,40 --> 01:01:43,500
people who are surviving with breast cancer.
It's a system that only adds to the fear and

646
01:01:43,500 --> 01:01:47,330
stress that already comes with the disease.

647
01:01:47,330 --> 01:01:54,330
And I'm not just talking about women without
insurance, who face the terrifying prospect,

648
01:01:55,160 --> 01:02:00,640
as you've heard, of having to pay the full
cost of their treatment on their own.

649
01:02:00,640 --> 01:02:06,730
I am talking about people in this country
who have insurance who have breast cancer

650
01:02:06,730 --> 01:02:13,730
-- folks who all too often find themselves
also paying outrageous out-of-pocket costs.

651
01:02:14,760 --> 01:02:20,220
According to a new report released by the
Department of Health and Human Services today,

652
01:02:20,220 --> 01:02:26,879
breast cancer patients with employer-sponsored
insurance paid an average of more than $6,200

653
01:02:26,880 --> 01:02:33,880
in out-of-pocket costs over the course of
a year. And some wound up paying as much as

654
01:02:33,880 --> 01:02:40,880
$10,000 or $20,000, and 5 percent with private
insurance paid more than $30,000 a year for

655
01:02:42,860 --> 01:02:45,390
their treatment.

656
01:02:45,390 --> 01:02:51,000
This is with insurance. These are people who
are blessed.

657
01:02:51,000 --> 01:02:57,210
And then there are those annual lifetime caps
that insurance companies set, where once you

658
01:02:57,210 --> 01:03:03,50
go over that cap -- as many women do because
some forms of breast cancer are so expensive

659
01:03:03,50 --> 01:03:10,50
to treat -- then that cap makes it impossible
to pay a penny more for that treatment.

660
01:03:11,10 --> 01:03:16,650
And one recent survey showed that 10 percent
of all cancer patients report hitting a cap

661
01:03:16,650 --> 01:03:22,500
on their benefits, leaving them scrambling
to find alternative insurance to figure out

662
01:03:22,500 --> 01:03:27,390
how to pay out of pocket for the rest of their
lifetime.

663
01:03:27,390 --> 01:03:32,540
And then there's what happens when you've
gone through all the treatment and you're

664
01:03:32,540 --> 01:03:38,550
finally in remission, which should be good
news. You're finally in remission and you're

665
01:03:38,550 --> 01:03:45,550
finally feeling like yourself again. You feel
whole and happy. But then, as you've heard,

666
01:03:46,80 --> 01:03:52,860
you're stuck, as Joni said, with a target
on your back for the rest of your life with

667
01:03:52,860 --> 01:03:58,680
a "preexisting condition," which means that
insurance companies can deny you coverage

668
01:03:58,680 --> 01:04:04,359
or charge you higher rates for coverage -- sometimes
much higher.

669
01:04:04,360 --> 01:04:10,840
That's exactly what happened to Vernal, to
Joni, and to Venus. These women were denied

670
01:04:10,840 --> 01:04:16,670
insurance, and now Joni and Venus are each
paying very high premiums for their coverage.

671
01:04:16,670 --> 01:04:23,290
And as you've heard, Venus's insurance won't
even cover treatment if she has a reoccurrence.

672
01:04:23,290 --> 01:04:29,130
So I know that a lot of survivors like them
are terrified. They are living in fear of

673
01:04:29,130 --> 01:04:35,740
losing their jobs or changing jobs or even
moving, because they worry they won't be able

674
01:04:35,740 --> 01:04:38,859
to find affordable insurance.

675
01:04:38,860 --> 01:04:45,460
And perhaps most heartbreaking of all is the
fact that right now, today in America, there

676
01:04:45,460 --> 01:04:51,500
are people in this country who have breast
cancer but don't even know it, because they

677
01:04:51,500 --> 01:04:58,500
can't afford a mammogram. According to our
new report, one in five women age 50 and above

678
01:04:59,130 --> 01:05:04,620
haven't gotten a mammogram in the past two
years. And while that's better than it was

679
01:05:04,620 --> 01:05:09,80
a few decades ago, it's nowhere near good
enough.

680
01:05:09,80 --> 01:05:16,80
And this is not acceptable. This is not acceptable
in this country. This is something that could

681
01:05:18,580 --> 01:05:20,759
happen to any of us.

682
01:05:20,760 --> 01:05:27,470
And this is a disease, as we know, that affects
not just those diagnosed with it, and not

683
01:05:27,470 --> 01:05:33,629
just those who've survived it and those who've
lost their lives to it, but it is a disease

684
01:05:33,630 --> 01:05:39,990
that also affects those who love and know
them -- which these days seems like almost

685
01:05:39,990 --> 01:05:44,259
every single person in this country.

686
01:05:44,260 --> 01:05:49,930
That's why it is so critically important that
we finally reform our health care system that

687
01:05:49,930 --> 01:05:56,930
is causing so much heartache for so many people
affected by this disease. Now is the time.

688
01:05:57,120 --> 01:06:03,480
Fortunately, that's exactly what the plans
being considered by Congress right now would

689
01:06:03,480 --> 01:06:05,530
do.

690
01:06:05,530 --> 01:06:11,770
So just to be clear, under these plans, if
you already have insurance that works for

691
01:06:11,770 --> 01:06:18,770
you, then you're all set. You can keep your
insurance and you can keep your doctors.

692
01:06:19,60 --> 01:06:24,279
The plans put in place some basic rules of
the road to protect you from abuses and unfair

693
01:06:24,280 --> 01:06:29,820
practices by insurance companies. That would
mean no more denying coverage to people like

694
01:06:29,820 --> 01:06:35,500
women we heard from today because of so-called
preexisting conditions like having survived

695
01:06:35,500 --> 01:06:42,500
cancer. (Applause.) Because there's a belief
that if you've already fought cancer, you

696
01:06:45,330 --> 01:06:49,880
shouldn't have to also fight with insurance
companies to get the coverage that you need

697
01:06:49,880 --> 01:06:55,580
at a price that you can afford. (Applause.)

698
01:06:55,580 --> 01:07:00,319
These plans mean insurance companies will
no longer be allowed to cap the amount of

699
01:07:00,320 --> 01:07:04,830
coverage that you can get, and will limit
how much insurance companies can charge you

700
01:07:04,830 --> 01:07:10,810
for out-of-pocket expenses, because in this
country, getting sick shouldn't mean going

701
01:07:10,810 --> 01:07:13,610
bankrupt. (Applause.)

702
01:07:13,610 --> 01:07:20,610
And finally, these plans will require insurance
companies to cover basic preventative care

703
01:07:21,310 --> 01:07:28,310
-- from routine checkups, to mammograms, to
pap smears -- at no extra charge to you. And

704
01:07:29,550 --> 01:07:34,370
though I want to emphasize that in the end,
as we all know, it's our responsibility as

705
01:07:34,370 --> 01:07:39,810
women to also talk to our doctors about what
screenings that we need and then make the

706
01:07:39,810 --> 01:07:45,570
appointments to get those screenings, even
when it's inconvenient or maybe a little bit

707
01:07:45,570 --> 01:07:51,750
uncomfortable. It's something that we owe
not just to ourselves but to the people that

708
01:07:51,750 --> 01:07:53,490
love us.

709
01:07:53,490 --> 01:07:58,830
Because we know the difference that early
detection makes. We know that if breast cancer

710
01:07:58,830 --> 01:08:04,790
is detected early, it's far easier to cure
and much less costly to treat. So we can save

711
01:08:04,790 --> 01:08:11,790
money, we can save lives, and we do right
by the people that we love.

712
01:08:11,910 --> 01:08:18,880
So that's how health insurance reform will
work. That's how it will help people who have

713
01:08:18,880 --> 01:08:25,880
been diagnosed with breast cancer and those
who've survived the disease. But first, we

714
01:08:25,960 --> 01:08:32,960
have to get it passed. First we have to get
it passed. (Applause.)

715
01:08:34,630 --> 01:08:41,630
But that's the hard part. We know that there
are all sorts of myths and misconceptions

716
01:08:42,630 --> 01:08:48,170
out there, and we know there are folks who
will do anything they can to stop reform because,

717
01:08:48,170 --> 01:08:52,830
for whatever reason, they want to keep things
the way they are.

718
01:08:52,830 --> 01:08:58,540
From where we stand now, it might seem like
an uphill battle. But fortunately, folks like

719
01:08:58,540 --> 01:09:04,899
you know a little something about an uphill
battle, right? You know a thing or two about

720
01:09:04,899 --> 01:09:09,589
overcoming long odds and rallying people to
an important cause.

721
01:09:09,589 --> 01:09:15,390
Now, let's remember that there was a time
when those affected by breast cancer never

722
01:09:15,390 --> 01:09:22,390
could have imagined all these pink ribbons
that would one day grace the White House,

723
01:09:23,210 --> 01:09:30,210
offices, storefronts, lapels. I don't think
they could have imagined some hulking NFL

724
01:09:30,899 --> 01:09:36,920
player decked out in pink cleats and pink
gloves. (Laughter and applause.) I don't think

725
01:09:36,920 --> 01:09:41,589
they could have imagined a day when so many
people would wear jeans to raise money for

726
01:09:41,589 --> 01:09:46,420
a cure. I don't think they could have imagined
how many people would lace up their shoes

727
01:09:46,420 --> 01:09:52,520
to take part in walks and runs and races all
across America.

728
01:09:52,520 --> 01:09:59,520
And it is my hope that if we pass health insurance
reform, then 20 or 30 years from now, just

729
01:10:02,370 --> 01:10:09,370
imagine, our daughters and our granddaughters
won't be able to imagine a time when any woman

730
01:10:10,110 --> 01:10:17,110
in this country couldn't get a mammogram because
she couldn't afford it. (Applause.) I hope

731
01:10:19,520 --> 01:10:24,440
that our children and grandchildren won't
be able to imagine a time when anyone in this

732
01:10:24,440 --> 01:10:31,000
country went bankrupt just because they had
the misfortune of getting sick. And I hope

733
01:10:31,000 --> 01:10:37,50
that statistics like one in eight and one
every 13 minutes will be incomprehensible

734
01:10:37,50 --> 01:10:44,50
to our kids -- incomprehensible -- because
of all the strides that we've made and the

735
01:10:44,190 --> 01:10:48,769
work that we've done for this cure and for
this reform.

736
01:10:48,770 --> 01:10:55,730
And in the end, that's really what health
insurance reform is all about. It's not about

737
01:10:55,730 --> 01:11:02,730
us. It's about them. It's about the future.
That is what we're fighting for. That's what

738
01:11:03,70 --> 01:11:07,690
we have to remember. That's what this fight
is about.

739
01:11:07,690 --> 01:11:14,299
And that's why we're so grateful to all of
you for the hard work and commitment and sacrifices

740
01:11:14,300 --> 01:11:20,80
that you've made. And we look forward to working
with all of you in the weeks and months ahead.

741
01:11:20,80 --> 01:11:26,80
Thank you so much. Thank you.

742
01:11:26,80 --> 01:11:33,80
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you, everybody.
Thank you. Please. Thanks so much. First of

743
01:11:47,690 --> 01:11:53,549
all, forgive me -- I’ve got children, and
now I have a cold. (Laughter.) It goes along

744
01:11:53,550 --> 01:11:55,60
with the territory.

745
01:11:55,60 --> 01:12:00,940
Let me begin by first thanking Tina Tchen,
who’s doing an outstanding job as Director

746
01:12:00,940 --> 01:12:06,129
of the Office of Public Engagement by opening
up this White House to the American people

747
01:12:06,130 --> 01:12:12,40
and organizing events like this one today.
She’s just been a terrific asset and a dear

748
01:12:12,40 --> 01:12:18,960
friend -- and let’s give her a round of
applause. (Applause.)

749
01:12:18,960 --> 01:12:25,230
And I also want to commend Nancy-Ann for her
extraordinary leadership on health care -- health

750
01:12:25,230 --> 01:12:31,150
insurance reform. I know my husband, who is
traveling abroad right now, would agree with

751
01:12:31,150 --> 01:12:38,150
me when I say that without her, we wouldn’t
have come this far, and because of her, we’re

752
01:12:38,360 --> 01:12:45,360
going to get the job done. So we are grateful
to you, Nancy-Ann. (Applause.)

753
01:12:48,660 --> 01:12:54,19
And of course, I want to thank all the women
who are here today. This is a wonderful, lively

754
01:12:54,20 --> 01:12:58,920
group -- I heard you all giggling earlier
today. (Laughter.)

755
01:12:58,920 --> 01:13:05,920
But I also want to thank the women who spoke
today -- to Kelly and Fran and Judy -- for

756
01:13:06,540 --> 01:13:13,540
sharing their stories. What they’ve been
through isn’t easy, and I’m grateful that

757
01:13:14,40 --> 01:13:18,519
they have been brave enough and open enough
to share their stories with all of us. It

758
01:13:18,520 --> 01:13:20,860
takes a lot of courage.

759
01:13:20,860 --> 01:13:27,860
These stories touch our hearts. They spark
in us just a fundamental sense of unfairness.

760
01:13:29,590 --> 01:13:36,590
But the sad truth is none of these stories
are unique. These kinds of stories are being

761
01:13:36,690 --> 01:13:43,690
told in city after city, town after town,
all across America. They’re being told by

762
01:13:43,700 --> 01:13:50,240
women who lost their coverage when their husband
lost a job, or their husband passed away.

763
01:13:50,240 --> 01:13:55,809
They’re being told by women who aren’t
getting regular checkups because it’s simply

764
01:13:55,810 --> 01:14:02,290
too expensive. They’re being told my women
living on fixed incomes who can’t afford

765
01:14:02,290 --> 01:14:05,450
the prescription drugs that they need.

766
01:14:05,450 --> 01:14:11,440
All of these stories reflect the fundamental
reality -- and that is, women are among those

767
01:14:11,440 --> 01:14:18,440
struggling most under the status quo, the
way things are. And women are among those

768
01:14:18,590 --> 01:14:25,100
who will benefit most from health insurance
reform because the truth is that women, we

769
01:14:25,100 --> 01:14:30,530
have a special relationship with our health
care system. In a lot of families that’s

770
01:14:30,530 --> 01:14:35,219
true because we are the health care system
in so many ways. (Laughter.)

771
01:14:35,220 --> 01:14:40,990
Eight in 10 mothers say they’re the ones
responsible for choosing their children’s

772
01:14:40,990 --> 01:14:47,40
doctors, taking them to appointments, and
managing the follow-up care. And over 10 percent

773
01:14:47,40 --> 01:14:53,19
of all women are now caring for a sick or
elderly relative.

774
01:14:53,20 --> 01:14:59,40
Our entire lives as women, we are asked to
bear much of the responsibility for our family’s

775
01:14:59,40 --> 01:15:05,730
health and well-being. And yet, we often face
special challenges when it comes to our own

776
01:15:05,730 --> 01:15:11,379
health insurance. Part of it has to do with
the fact that women are more likely than men

777
01:15:11,380 --> 01:15:18,380
to do part-time work or to work in a small
business -- in jobs that are less likely to

778
01:15:18,660 --> 01:15:24,670
offer the kind of insurance that you really
need. In fact, over half of all women in this

779
01:15:24,670 --> 01:15:30,670
country don’t have the option of getting
insurance through the workplace at all.

780
01:15:30,670 --> 01:15:37,250
But even women who do have insurance face
inequities under the status quo. Because women

781
01:15:37,250 --> 01:15:42,530
make less than 80 cents for every dollar their
male coworkers make, it’s more difficult

782
01:15:42,530 --> 01:15:47,460
for them to pay their premiums -- especially
when studies show that they’re paying far

783
01:15:47,460 --> 01:15:50,640
more than men for the same coverage.

784
01:15:50,640 --> 01:15:56,640
And I don’t think anyone here will be surprised
to learn that a recent study found that one-third

785
01:15:56,640 --> 01:16:03,310
of all women have either used up savings,
taken on debt, or given up basic necessities

786
01:16:03,310 --> 01:16:09,830
just to pay their medical bills. And as many
of you know firsthand, these kinds of problems

787
01:16:09,830 --> 01:16:16,830
-- the problems of coverage and cost -- only
grow worse when you get older, making quality,

788
01:16:18,340 --> 01:16:23,680
affordable coverage harder to come by just
-- as we’ve seen today and heard today -- just

789
01:16:23,680 --> 01:16:26,60
when you need it the most.

790
01:16:26,60 --> 01:16:30,730
In the individual market, people in their
early 60s are more than twice as likely to

791
01:16:30,730 --> 01:16:37,410
be denied coverage than people in their late
30s. Older women are more likely than men

792
01:16:37,410 --> 01:16:42,730
to face a chronic illness, but they’re less
likely to be able to afford the cost of treating

793
01:16:42,730 --> 01:16:49,730
that illness. And in recent years, studies
have shown that women over the age of 65 spend

794
01:16:50,210 --> 01:16:57,210
about 17 percent of their income on health
care. And that’s just not right.

795
01:16:58,320 --> 01:17:05,320
Our mothers and grandmothers, they have taken
care of us all their lives; they’ve made

796
01:17:06,840 --> 01:17:12,670
the sacrifices that it takes to get us where
we need to be. And we have an obligation to

797
01:17:12,670 --> 01:17:18,820
make sure that we’re taking care of them.
It’s as simple as that. America has a responsibility

798
01:17:18,820 --> 01:17:25,400
to give all seniors the golden years they
deserve and the secure, dignified retirement

799
01:17:25,400 --> 01:17:32,400
that they worked so hard to achieve. (Applause.)

800
01:17:36,820 --> 01:17:41,940
And that’s exactly what health insurance
reform is going to help us do in this country.

801
01:17:41,940 --> 01:17:48,940
Now, I can tell you -- I can’t tell, actually,
what the bill that will ultimately land across

802
01:17:50,360 --> 01:17:57,360
my husband’s desk will look like -- none
of us can. But I can tell you just a few important

803
01:17:57,810 --> 01:18:02,750
ways that the insurance system will be impacted.

804
01:18:02,750 --> 01:18:09,560
For starters -- and this is very important
-- your insurance will not change unless you

805
01:18:09,560 --> 01:18:16,560
want it to change. So if things are great
for you, you’re fine. (Laughter.) It will,

806
01:18:16,980 --> 01:18:23,480
however, become more stable and more secure,
no matter what your situation is. There will

807
01:18:23,480 --> 01:18:30,480
be a cap on how much you can be charged in
out-of-pocket expenses in a year or in a lifetime.

808
01:18:30,590 --> 01:18:35,810
So there will be a cap. It will be against
the law for insurance companies to deny you

809
01:18:35,810 --> 01:18:42,810
coverage for preexisting conditions. (Applause.)
And that change alone will help us end the

810
01:18:48,640 --> 01:18:55,190
discrimination women face in our health care
system. And also, insurance companies will

811
01:18:55,190 --> 01:19:02,30
be required to cover, at no extra cost, routine
checkups and preventive care.

812
01:19:02,30 --> 01:19:09,30
And I’d like to speak just a moment about
what reform will mean for seniors, in particular.

813
01:19:09,480 --> 01:19:16,480
There’s been a lot of misinformation on
this topic so I want to be clear -- Nancy-Ann

814
01:19:17,130 --> 01:19:23,250
mentioned this: Not a dime of the Medicare
Trust Fund will be used to pay for reform.

815
01:19:23,250 --> 01:19:29,790
Health insurance reform will not endanger
Medicare; it will make Medicare more stable

816
01:19:29,790 --> 01:19:35,880
and secure. (Applause.) By eliminating wasteful
subsidies to private insurance and cracking

817
01:19:35,880 --> 01:19:42,880
down on fraud and abuse throughout the system,
this administration believes that we can bring

818
01:19:45,860 --> 01:19:52,650
down premiums for all our seniors and extend
the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.

819
01:19:52,650 --> 01:19:59,110
My husband believes that Medicare is a sacred
part of America’s social safety net, and

820
01:19:59,110 --> 01:20:05,420
it’s a safety net that he will protect -- he
will protect with health insurance reform.

821
01:20:05,420 --> 01:20:10,739
And I know that many seniors on Medicare are
also concerned about the cost of prescription

822
01:20:10,739 --> 01:20:13,469
drugs; we’ve heard about it here.

823
01:20:13,470 --> 01:20:19,420
Right now, millions of seniors face huge out-of-pocket
costs when their spending on drugs falls within

824
01:20:19,420 --> 01:20:26,420
a coverage gap. My husband is committed to
closing that gap, which will save some seniors,

825
01:20:26,910 --> 01:20:32,460
as you’ve heard, thousands of dollars on
medications and make prescription drugs more

826
01:20:32,460 --> 01:20:36,190
affordable for millions of older Americans.
(Applause.)

827
01:20:36,190 --> 01:20:43,190
So what we’re talking about --
affordable prescription drugs for Americans
who need them; Medicare that’s protected

828
01:20:48,910 --> 01:20:55,910
today and tomorrow; stability and security
for Americans who have insurance; quality,

829
01:20:57,10 --> 01:21:04,10
affordable coverage for Americans who don’t.
That’s what reform will mean for older women,

830
01:21:04,710 --> 01:21:08,590
for seniors, and for all Americans.

831
01:21:08,590 --> 01:21:15,590
So that’s why I believe in this so strongly.
That’s why I believe in this so strongly.

832
01:21:18,600 --> 01:21:24,420
But in the end, I’m not here just as a First
Lady. That’s not why I’m doing this. I

833
01:21:24,420 --> 01:21:30,610
am here because I’m a daughter. I’m here
because I have an extraordinary mother who

834
01:21:30,610 --> 01:21:37,610
is 72 years old -- young. (Laughter and applause.)
And I know there are countless women in this

835
01:21:42,920 --> 01:21:48,960
country who have loved ones who feel the same
way about them as I do about my mother.

836
01:21:48,960 --> 01:21:54,20
And when all is said and done, part of why
I believe so strongly in reforming our health

837
01:21:54,20 --> 01:21:59,360
care system is because of the difference it
will make for these women who gave us life

838
01:21:59,360 --> 01:22:06,360
-- so simple -- these women who raised us,
these women who supported us through the years.

839
01:22:08,10 --> 01:22:14,410
They deserve better than the status quo. They
deserve a health care system that heals them

840
01:22:14,410 --> 01:22:17,90
and lifts them up.

841
01:22:17,90 --> 01:22:22,270
And that’s what my husband is committed
to doing, to building that kind of system

842
01:22:22,270 --> 01:22:25,500
in the weeks and months to come.

843
01:22:25,500 --> 01:22:29,480
So thank you all. Thank you for sharing your
stories. Thank you all for your hard work

844
01:22:29,480 --> 01:22:36,480
and dedication, for listening, for being a
part -- and let’s get to work. Thank you

845
01:23:07,630 --> 01:23:08,140
so much. (Applause.)

846
01:23:08,140 --> 01:23:12,420
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you
everybody. Thank you so much. Thank you. Isn't

847
01:23:12,420 --> 01:23:15,690
this nice? (Laughter.) Just so very nice.

848
01:23:15,690 --> 01:23:20,919
Let me begin by thanking Secretary Napolitano
for that very kind introduction and for her

849
01:23:20,920 --> 01:23:26,470
outstanding work in keeping this country safe.
She is a true friend and she has been doing

850
01:23:26,470 --> 01:23:31,000
an amazing job and we are so proud to have
her on our team.

851
01:23:31,000 --> 01:23:38,000
I'd also like to thank to Dr. Jill Biden -- a
Blue Star Mom, by the way -- and a dear friend

852
01:23:38,80 --> 01:23:45,80
of mine as well. She has just been a tireless
advocate of highlighting the service of the

853
01:23:47,600 --> 01:23:52,420
National Guard and Reserve members and families.
It has just been a thrill for me to be able

854
01:23:52,420 --> 01:23:59,290
to work with her on this issue and many others.
Jill, thank you for everything you’ve done.

855
01:23:59,290 --> 01:24:06,290
And I also would like to acknowledge Representatives
Susan Davis, Gwen Moore, as well as Jan Schakowsky,

856
01:24:07,40 --> 01:24:11,19
who are here, for their terrific work and
for joining us here today; it's good to see

857
01:24:11,20 --> 01:24:17,400
you all. And I also want to recognize General
Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

858
01:24:17,400 --> 01:24:23,960
of Staff, along with the members of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff who are here, and their wonderful

859
01:24:23,960 --> 01:24:29,390
wives -- and this wasn’t in the script,
but please stand so that we can recognize

860
01:24:29,390 --> 01:24:33,500
and thank all of you -- I know you weren't
supposed to this, but you can do it, it's

861
01:24:33,500 --> 01:24:40,500
my house. (Applause.)

862
01:24:41,350 --> 01:24:48,350
You know, Jill and I are particularly grateful
to the wives of the members of the Joint Chiefs

863
01:24:51,150 --> 01:24:56,370
of Staff because they have -- from day one
we sat down with them and got advice and guidance

864
01:24:56,370 --> 01:25:00,230
on sort of how to develop our initiatives.
So we're grateful to you.

865
01:25:00,230 --> 01:25:05,949
And I also want to thank to the senior enlisted
advisors who are here today and their wives

866
01:25:05,949 --> 01:25:12,949
-- and I'd also like to ask them to stand
as well so we can give them a round of applause.

867
01:25:16,180 --> 01:25:20,280
(Applause.) Thank you so much.

868
01:25:20,280 --> 01:25:27,280
Again, with the spouses, we met with shortly
thereafter and we had a terrific conversation.

869
01:25:29,130 --> 01:25:34,950
The guidance that you have given us has meant
a great deal. It's really ensured that the

870
01:25:34,950 --> 01:25:40,230
efforts that we've undertaken are substantive
and accurate. So thank you all. Thank you

871
01:25:40,230 --> 01:25:44,500
for your support and thank you for being here
today.

872
01:25:44,500 --> 01:25:51,20
Let me also thank Patty Shinseki for her tremendous
efforts on behalf of our nation’s military

873
01:25:51,20 --> 01:25:57,820
children. Her husband, Secretary of Veterans
Affairs Eric Shinseki, is doing a terrific

874
01:25:57,820 --> 01:26:04,320
job and Patty has become just one of my dearest
friends and just always a spot of courage

875
01:26:04,320 --> 01:26:11,320
in a sea of work. (Laughter.) So where's Patty?
Patty, where are you? Thank you, Patty. (Applause.)

876
01:26:20,920 --> 01:26:26,360
And if any of you are still wondering why
you're here -- (laughter) -- it's not just

877
01:26:26,360 --> 01:26:33,360
tea. You have to thank General Wilma Vaught.
General. (Applause.) I had the privilege of

878
01:26:47,210 --> 01:26:52,910
meeting this amazing woman at the Women in
Military Service Memorial that occurred at

879
01:26:52,910 --> 01:26:59,510
Arlington National Cemetery -- when was that?
That was a few months ago. And as you all

880
01:26:59,510 --> 01:27:06,510
know, she has just poured her heart and soul
into that memorial, just to ensure that America’s

881
01:27:08,190 --> 01:27:11,650
servicewomen receive the recognition that
they’ve earned.

882
01:27:11,650 --> 01:27:18,650
And I had a tremendous visit that day and
one of the things that she said -- she turned

883
01:27:19,880 --> 01:27:25,170
to me -- who was there? You remember, she
said, Eleanor Roosevelt did a tea, and she

884
01:27:25,170 --> 01:27:27,70
said something else, and she said, "We're
coming for tea, right?" (Laughter.) I said,

885
01:27:27,70 --> 01:27:34,70
of course we're going to have tea. And here
we are. So this is why you're here. (Applause.)

886
01:27:40,920 --> 01:27:47,920
It was an excellent idea -- excellent idea.

887
01:27:53,170 --> 01:27:58,370
But I also want to honor two very special
ladies who are here today, and I got to meet

888
01:27:58,370 --> 01:28:05,59
them as well, earlier this year: Esther Corcoran,
who was born in 1905 -- I hope you don't mind

889
01:28:05,60 --> 01:28:12,60
me telling on you -- (laughter and applause.)
Esther was one of the first women in the Army

890
01:28:19,720 --> 01:28:26,720
to achieve the rank of Lieutenant Colonel
-- pretty amazing. (Applause.) And she is

891
01:28:31,860 --> 01:28:38,860
joining us today with Alyce Dixon, who was
born in 1907 -- Alyce. (Applause.) And Alyce

892
01:28:48,210 --> 01:28:55,210
served with the famous 6888th Central Postal
Directory Battalion during the Second World

893
01:28:57,160 --> 01:29:04,160
War. So let's give them both another round
of applause. (Applause.)

894
01:29:07,520 --> 01:29:12,470
These ladies have contributed a great deal
to this country, and while their lives may

895
01:29:12,470 --> 01:29:18,90
span a century, they’re both young at heart
-- I've talked to them, they're pretty spunky

896
01:29:18,90 --> 01:29:23,360
-- (laughter) -- and we are thrilled to have
you both here today, thrilled and honored

897
01:29:23,360 --> 01:29:26,420
and grateful for your service.

898
01:29:26,420 --> 01:29:31,550
And finally, I want to thank all of you -- all
the women who have served this nation with

899
01:29:31,550 --> 01:29:38,550
courage, determination, and distinction, from
World War II to today in Iraq and Afghanistan.

900
01:29:39,420 --> 01:29:45,940
You have served in times of war and in times
of peace -- an all-volunteer force right from

901
01:29:45,940 --> 01:29:52,30
the beginning -- part of a proud tradition
that stretches back more than two centuries.

902
01:29:52,30 --> 01:29:58,440
Long before women had the right to vote -- long
before we even had the right to vote -- or

903
01:29:58,440 --> 01:30:05,440
own property, before America even existed,
women were serving this country -- facing

904
01:30:06,850 --> 01:30:13,850
danger, risking their lives, even dressing
up like men so they’d be allowed to serve.

905
01:30:16,310 --> 01:30:22,100
And it’s never been an easy path. I can
only imagine how challenging it has been and

906
01:30:22,100 --> 01:30:28,900
continues to be. I know that some of you have
faced skepticism and ridicule. Some of you

907
01:30:28,900 --> 01:30:34,629
had to contend not just with the challenge
of doing your jobs, but with others’ perceptions

908
01:30:34,630 --> 01:30:41,630
that you weren’t up to the job simply because
of your gender. As Air Force veteran Dr. Donna

909
01:30:43,400 --> 01:30:48,280
Loraine put it -- this is a quote -- "To be
a success, a woman had to be confident, self-assured,

910
01:30:48,280 --> 01:30:55,200
persistent and have a great sense of humor.
At times you had to employ a certain desperate

911
01:30:55,200 --> 01:30:59,550
deviousness to get the job done." (Laughter.)

912
01:30:59,550 --> 01:31:04,239
So maybe you had to work a little harder -- and
a little smarter. You may have felt a little

913
01:31:04,239 --> 01:31:11,239
lonely at times. At times, you may have gotten
downright discouraged. But you stuck it out,

914
01:31:11,680 --> 01:31:17,630
each and every one of you. You found colleagues
who supported you -- of all genders and all

915
01:31:17,630 --> 01:31:24,170
races and all backgrounds. You found superiors
who pushed you and encouraged you. And then

916
01:31:24,170 --> 01:31:30,250
you rose to the challenge. You rose and you
found opportunities to advance and to build

917
01:31:30,250 --> 01:31:37,250
exciting, amazing careers. And along the way,
you all broke one "brass ceiling" after another.

918
01:31:39,750 --> 01:31:44,930
In this room alone, we have the first female
four star general. We have the first woman

919
01:31:44,930 --> 01:31:50,250
in the Navy to be promoted to Master Chief.
The first woman in the Army Reserve to be

920
01:31:50,250 --> 01:31:55,360
promoted to the general officer rank. We have
the first woman in the Army to receive the

921
01:31:55,360 --> 01:32:01,9
Expert Field Medical Badge. We have the first
African American woman to serve as Chief Nurse

922
01:32:01,10 --> 01:32:08,10
at Walter Reed Hospital. And so many more
"firsts" and "onlys" -- and that's the result

923
01:32:08,960 --> 01:32:13,730
of your hard work and your courage and your
persistence.

924
01:32:13,730 --> 01:32:18,650
But we know these achievements aren’t yours
alone. That's something that Jill and I have

925
01:32:18,650 --> 01:32:22,860
talked about, we've learned more about over
the course of this year, because we know that

926
01:32:22,860 --> 01:32:27,759
service doesn’t just end with the person
wearing the uniform. You all know that. We

927
01:32:27,760 --> 01:32:33,610
know that our servicemen and women’s sacrifices
are their families’ sacrifices as well.

928
01:32:33,610 --> 01:32:40,610
And many of you have spouses, partners, children,
parents who stood by you and encouraged you

929
01:32:40,840 --> 01:32:46,930
and prayed for you every step of the way.
And this day is their day too, as far as we're

930
01:32:46,930 --> 01:32:53,930
concerned. So let’s take a moment to recognize
those members of our families who supported

931
01:32:55,000 --> 01:33:02,000
you in your service as well. (Applause.)

932
01:33:09,410 --> 01:33:14,340
But I hope you all know that your service
-- that your legacy is more than just your

933
01:33:14,340 --> 01:33:19,200
own service. I hope that you know that your
legacy will be measured in the service of

934
01:33:19,200 --> 01:33:24,590
every woman who follows in the trails that
you've blazed -- every woman who benefits

935
01:33:24,590 --> 01:33:31,489
from your daring and determination. It will
be measured in the inspiration that you provide

936
01:33:31,489 --> 01:33:38,179
to our daughters and our granddaughters -- and
to our sons and our grandsons as well.

937
01:33:38,180 --> 01:33:43,790
Because of you, when young women wonder how
high they can rise in our military, they can

938
01:33:43,790 --> 01:33:50,790
look at General Ann Dunwoody and her four
hard earned stars. That can see that, it's

939
01:33:52,10 --> 01:33:58,590
real. When they ask what kind of jobs they
can do, they can look to women like all of

940
01:33:58,590 --> 01:34:03,860
you who’ve played just about every kind
of role imaginable. And when they ask whether

941
01:34:03,860 --> 01:34:08,210
they can cut it -- whether they have what
it takes to succeed -- all they have to do

942
01:34:08,210 --> 01:34:14,660
is to look at your lives, to look into your
lives and to look at the careers that you've

943
01:34:14,660 --> 01:34:17,630
developed that inspire us all.

944
01:34:17,630 --> 01:34:22,960
They can look to the example of Coast Guard
Commander Dorothy Stratton, who led the SPARS

945
01:34:22,960 --> 01:34:29,960
during World War II. She stated, "We wanted
to serve our country in its time of need."

946
01:34:30,510 --> 01:34:37,510
She said, I'm proud to sponsor -- oh, she
didn't say this, but I am proud to sponsor

947
01:34:37,800 --> 01:34:43,570
a new Coast Guard cutter bearing her name
to ensure that her service will be remembered

948
01:34:43,570 --> 01:34:50,570
for generations. (Applause.)

949
01:34:55,660 --> 01:35:00,710
They can look to Jennifer Grieves, who made
history by becoming the first woman Marine

950
01:35:00,710 --> 01:35:06,380
One aircraft commander, and by commanding
the first-ever flight with an all-female crew

951
01:35:06,380 --> 01:35:11,200
-- I remember this -- proudly carrying my
husband from the White House to Andrews Air

952
01:35:11,200 --> 01:35:16,730
Force Base back in July. That was a wonderful
day.

953
01:35:16,730 --> 01:35:22,230
They can look to Tammy Duckworth, who flew
combat missions in Iraq and lost both her

954
01:35:22,230 --> 01:35:28,30
legs when her helicopter was hit by a grenade.
She went on to become a fearless advocate

955
01:35:28,30 --> 01:35:33,519
for veterans and wounded warriors, and now
serves as Assistant Secretary for Public and

956
01:35:33,520 --> 01:35:40,520
Intergovernmental Affairs at the Veterans
Affairs Department. Thank you, Tammy. (Applause.)

957
01:35:45,430 --> 01:35:52,430
And they can look to the example of women
like Amy Krueger, who lost her life in the

958
01:35:53,190 --> 01:35:59,969
unthinkable violence at Fort Hood two weeks
ago. Amy had enlisted in the Army after the

959
01:35:59,969 --> 01:36:05,510
September 11th attacks. And when her mother
told her that she couldn’t take on Osama

960
01:36:05,510 --> 01:36:12,340
bin Laden all by herself, Amy replied, simply:
"Watch me."

961
01:36:12,340 --> 01:36:19,330
She said, "Watch me." And I think that more
than anything, that phrase "watch me" sums

962
01:36:19,330 --> 01:36:26,280
up the spirit of our women in uniform throughout
our history. When others doubted you, or dismissed

963
01:36:26,280 --> 01:36:31,389
you, or questioned whether you could endure
the training or complete the mission -- that

964
01:36:31,390 --> 01:36:35,940
was your response: "Watch me." Right?

965
01:36:35,940 --> 01:36:42,940
Watch me succeed. Watch me risk everything
I have for the country I love. Watch me do

966
01:36:43,180 --> 01:36:50,180
my part to protect this nation and protect
this union. Watch me.

967
01:36:52,910 --> 01:36:58,800
So we thank you for your courage and your
service. We're honored to have you in our

968
01:36:58,800 --> 01:37:05,800
presence. We're thrilled, General, that you
came up with this brilliant idea. (Laughter.)

969
01:37:06,820 --> 01:37:12,660
And we hope that you don't spike the tea until
after we leave. (Laughter.) But we are thrilled

970
01:37:12,660 --> 01:37:17,450
to have you here. Welcome to the White House
and thank you so much for your service. Thank

971
01:37:17,450 --> 01:37:21,510
you and God bless. (Applause.)

972
01:37:21,510 --> 01:37:28,510
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Welcome, everyone.
How are you all doing? It's good to see you.

973
01:37:34,420 --> 01:37:40,70
Well, as Desiree mentioned, this is a very
exciting time here at the White House and

974
01:37:40,70 --> 01:37:45,170
we are just excited to welcome all of you.
We've got a big day going on -- this is our

975
01:37:45,170 --> 01:37:51,370
first official state visit of the Obama administration.
It's very exciting for us.

976
01:37:51,370 --> 01:37:58,370
And today the President is welcoming and working
with India's Prime Minister Singh. And this

977
01:37:59,350 --> 01:38:06,350
evening, tonight the President and I are going
to be hosting our first state dinner -- and

978
01:38:06,410 --> 01:38:13,180
we're hosting for the Prime Minister and his
wife, Mrs. Kaur, who we met earlier today.

979
01:38:13,180 --> 01:38:18,590
So one of the things we thought -- and I don't
know about all of you -- is whether you wonder,

980
01:38:18,590 --> 01:38:23,170
what are these state dinners all about and
these state visits? Because when I was your

981
01:38:23,170 --> 01:38:28,70
age I didn't know what they were doing. So
we thought it would be fun to take a little

982
01:38:28,70 --> 01:38:35,70
time to expose you to what's going to happen
today and this evening. So that's why you

983
01:38:35,70 --> 01:38:38,950
are all here today and we're really excited
to have you.

984
01:38:38,950 --> 01:38:45,950
These state visits and dinners are a really
important part of our nation's diplomacy.

985
01:38:46,350 --> 01:38:52,100
Throughout history, they've given U.S. presidents
-- and the American people -- the opportunity

986
01:38:52,100 --> 01:38:58,630
to make important milestones in foreign relations.
So these dinners and events are really critical

987
01:38:58,630 --> 01:39:05,550
to what we do internationally. And they've
helped build stronger ties with nations as

988
01:39:05,550 --> 01:39:12,150
well as people around the world. That's what
President Obama and Prime Minister Singh are

989
01:39:12,150 --> 01:39:13,519
doing today.

990
01:39:13,520 --> 01:39:20,520
And I know that all of us on our team here
at the West Wing and the East Wing, we wish

991
01:39:20,989 --> 01:39:25,910
that we could include many, many more people
in today's events and this evening's events

992
01:39:25,910 --> 01:39:31,430
because it's not often that you get to do
this. But even with a house like the White

993
01:39:31,430 --> 01:39:37,430
House, there's only so many people that we
can invite. So one of the ways that First

994
01:39:37,430 --> 01:39:42,610
Ladies in the past have tried to include the
broader public in on what's going on is by

995
01:39:42,610 --> 01:39:48,759
holding these types of events where we invite
the press to share some of the incredible

996
01:39:48,760 --> 01:39:55,760
behind-the-scenes work that goes into planning
and pulling off this amazing day.

997
01:39:56,340 --> 01:40:03,80
But today we're also doing something a little
different by having you all here. As our mentees

998
01:40:03,80 --> 01:40:07,370
know, one of the things we've talked about
that the President and I have tried to do

999
01:40:07,370 --> 01:40:14,370
is really open up this White House to our
neighbors here in Washington, D.C., especially

1000
01:40:15,400 --> 01:40:21,500
to local students and to children in our community.
Because what we know is that even though many

1001
01:40:21,500 --> 01:40:26,110
of you guys live just a few minutes, maybe
a little bit away from here -- but you're

1002
01:40:26,110 --> 01:40:33,110
close -- these events probably seem like they're
miles and miles away, like they're just untouchable.

1003
01:40:33,350 --> 01:40:37,920
So that's why we really tried to think about
ways to include kids in the community all

1004
01:40:37,920 --> 01:40:44,719
throughout today's event. At the opening ceremonies
today we invited about 50 students from local

1005
01:40:44,719 --> 01:40:50,300
schools to attend the welcoming event. And
that's why we're so happy to have you guys

1006
01:40:50,300 --> 01:40:55,520
here with us today. And for those of you who
don't know, these girls are a part of our

1007
01:40:55,520 --> 01:41:01,980
young women who participate in the White House
Leadership and Mentoring Program. And we're

1008
01:41:01,980 --> 01:41:06,589
really thrilled to have you guys here, because
this is your White House and we want you to

1009
01:41:06,590 --> 01:41:09,900
be a part of what we do here.

1010
01:41:09,900 --> 01:41:16,480
So, how do we get this stuff done? The President
and I are going to host this really neat dinner

1011
01:41:16,480 --> 01:41:23,480
outside in the tent. But we describe it, it's
sort of like a swan, where we're kind of calm

1012
01:41:24,410 --> 01:41:30,200
and serene above water -- but we're paddling
like mad, going crazy underneath, trying to

1013
01:41:30,200 --> 01:41:34,380
look smooth. But there's a lot of work that
goes into making this happen and we have a

1014
01:41:34,380 --> 01:41:40,780
lot of people who are helping to put it together.
And it takes everyone at the White House and

1015
01:41:40,780 --> 01:41:46,280
the State Department and the Military Office
who've worked so hard to put all of the events

1016
01:41:46,280 --> 01:41:52,450
together today -- the guest list, the invitations,
the place settings that you see here, you've

1017
01:41:52,450 --> 01:41:57,489
got to figure out who sits where -- all that
fun stuff.

1018
01:41:57,489 --> 01:42:02,940
It takes all the folks in the kitchen -- we
have our incredible White House Chef Cris

1019
01:42:02,940 --> 01:42:09,160
Comerford -- who some of you guy met -- and
the rest of our kitchen staff. And tonight,

1020
01:42:09,160 --> 01:42:15,769
we're going to include a guest chef tonight,
a gentleman by the name of Marcus Samuellson

1021
01:42:15,770 --> 01:42:19,780
-- and he's one of the finest chefs in the
country, who is going to cook the dinner this

1022
01:42:19,780 --> 01:42:26,480
evening. Cris, Marcus and our kitchen staff
are working on a wonderful menu tonight that

1023
01:42:26,480 --> 01:42:32,129
you'll be able to share in a little bit. It's
going to showcase the best of American cooking.

1024
01:42:32,130 --> 01:42:38,489
It's going to include the freshest ingredients
from area farmers and purveyors. And because

1025
01:42:38,489 --> 01:42:43,519
of all of the hard work of some other kids
in the community, we've got this wonderful

1026
01:42:43,520 --> 01:42:48,820
White House kitchen garden out in the South
Lawn and we're going to use some of the herbs

1027
01:42:48,820 --> 01:42:52,519
from that garden in tonight's dinner as well.

1028
01:42:52,520 --> 01:42:57,940
But there's also more to the dinner than just
the food, even though that's going to be exciting.

1029
01:42:57,940 --> 01:43:03,799
Dinners like these also need great entertainment.
So who do we have tonight? We've got someone

1030
01:43:03,800 --> 01:43:08,300
you guys probably know a lot about: Oscar
winner Jennifer Hudson is going to sing tonight

1031
01:43:08,300 --> 01:43:15,300
-- yay! But also have A.R. Rahman. He's also
an Oscar winner and he helped create some

1032
01:43:15,870 --> 01:43:21,250
of the music for the film "Slumdog Millionaire."
I don't know if you guys got to see that movie

1033
01:43:21,250 --> 01:43:27,10
-- incredible movie. We're also going to have
Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Kurt Elling,

1034
01:43:27,10 --> 01:43:32,370
who's a Chicago hometown guy and we're pleased
to have him. And we're also going to have

1035
01:43:32,370 --> 01:43:37,250
the National Symphony Orchestra under the
direction of Marvin Hamlisch, who's one of

1036
01:43:37,250 --> 01:43:40,140
the greatest composers in this country.

1037
01:43:40,140 --> 01:43:46,640
So it's going to be an incredible night for
a lot of our guests. And in just a few minutes,

1038
01:43:46,640 --> 01:43:52,160
you're going to hear a little bit more about
the whole process of state visits and dinners

1039
01:43:52,160 --> 01:43:57,110
from White House Historian, Bill Allman. He's
going to give you a little bit of the background

1040
01:43:57,110 --> 01:44:02,110
to how these things have worked in the past.
And you're also going to hear about the importance

1041
01:44:02,110 --> 01:44:09,110
of protocol from Tanya Turner, who is a protocol
officer from the State Department. And protocol

1042
01:44:09,910 --> 01:44:15,430
is critical -- protocol, how you stand, how
you sit, who walks where -- all of that is

1043
01:44:15,430 --> 01:44:21,80
really important. So Tanya is going to share
with us how all that works and how we think

1044
01:44:21,80 --> 01:44:22,500
about it.

1045
01:44:22,500 --> 01:44:27,600
But before I turn it over to them, I just
want to take a few moments to share with everyone

1046
01:44:27,600 --> 01:44:33,600
here also why today means so much to me, personally.

1047
01:44:33,600 --> 01:44:39,230
As you've seen from this year, I have been
on the other side of these visits and dinners

1048
01:44:39,230 --> 01:44:46,230
-- as a guest in many countries. Since becoming
First Lady, I've had the opportunity to visit

1049
01:44:47,580 --> 01:44:53,630
eight countries with my husband, the President.
And in each and every country, during each

1050
01:44:53,630 --> 01:44:59,850
and every visit, I have been moved by the
warmth and gracious hospitality that our hosts

1051
01:44:59,850 --> 01:45:05,870
and the citizens of the countries that we
visited have extended to the President and

1052
01:45:05,870 --> 01:45:07,140
to me.

1053
01:45:07,140 --> 01:45:13,810
It means a great deal when you're visiting
and your hosts make you feel like you're at

1054
01:45:13,810 --> 01:45:18,590
home, like they're excited to see you. It
means the world.

1055
01:45:18,590 --> 01:45:24,380
Each visit has also been unique and profound
in its own way. It's not just the pomp and

1056
01:45:24,380 --> 01:45:29,90
circumstances and the lights and the cameras
and the fancy dresses. But when we've gone

1057
01:45:29,90 --> 01:45:35,700
to other countries we've done some incredible
things. We've seen the Jewish Quarter in Prague;

1058
01:45:35,700 --> 01:45:42,130
we visited the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican;
we've been to the Coliseum in Rome; and the

1059
01:45:42,130 --> 01:45:48,400
American Cemetery on the beaches of Normandy
in France, where the world comes to honor

1060
01:45:48,400 --> 01:45:51,610
the brave soldiers who died there.

1061
01:45:51,610 --> 01:45:57,339
These places are more than just monuments
to history, truly. They compel us to see the

1062
01:45:57,340 --> 01:46:03,920
world through a broader lens -- not just from
your own backyard or your school or your neighborhood

1063
01:46:03,920 --> 01:46:08,900
-- but they teach us to look at the world
broadly and to look at our place in it in

1064
01:46:08,900 --> 01:46:15,900
a different way; to respect and admire each
other's culture and traditions in a very different

1065
01:46:16,590 --> 01:46:23,590
way; and to honor all the values and the interests
we have in common across the world.

1066
01:46:25,10 --> 01:46:32,10
You see this not in the pomp and circumstances,
but in the people that you meet. We've met

1067
01:46:33,570 --> 01:46:39,239
tons of incredible people over the course
of our trips: the children, and the nuns who

1068
01:46:39,239 --> 01:46:46,239
care for them, at a beautiful orphanage that
I visited in Russia; young girls, girls just

1069
01:46:47,219 --> 01:46:52,780
like many of you, that I got to spend some
time with in London at the Elizabeth Garrett

1070
01:46:52,780 --> 01:46:59,780
Anderson School, it was an amazing day; the
nurses in the maternal health clinic in Ghana,

1071
01:47:00,590 --> 01:47:03,410
in Africa, that we got to see.

1072
01:47:03,410 --> 01:47:10,410
See, all these people -- you know, the children,
these caretakers, the girls, their teachers,

1073
01:47:11,300 --> 01:47:16,320
these nurses and mothers that you've seen,
that we met -- what you learn is that they

1074
01:47:16,320 --> 01:47:22,759
all want the same things as you do, as we
do. Folks around the world, they want to live

1075
01:47:22,760 --> 01:47:29,360
in peace; they want to pursue their dreams
just like you guys do -- and they have big,

1076
01:47:29,360 --> 01:47:36,360
huge dreams just like you; and they hope for
a brighter future for the next generation,

1077
01:47:36,719 --> 01:47:41,180
just like we hope for you. Doesn’t matter
where you're from -- these dreams are the

1078
01:47:41,180 --> 01:47:42,820
same.

1079
01:47:42,820 --> 01:47:48,110
So what we figure out from these visits is
that all across the world -- non matter what

1080
01:47:48,110 --> 01:47:54,910
our religions or races are -- that we are
all building that future together. And building

1081
01:47:54,910 --> 01:48:01,110
that future is not just the job of any one
country alone. No one country can do it by

1082
01:48:01,110 --> 01:48:08,89
themselves. It's the responsibility of all
our countries all over the world to work together.

1083
01:48:08,90 --> 01:48:13,300
And that's why the President has worked so
hard to begin what he's called a new era in

1084
01:48:13,300 --> 01:48:19,600
our relations with the world and other countries.
He's worked to strengthen diplomacy. He's

1085
01:48:19,600 --> 01:48:24,680
worked to renew old alliances, so that we're
talking differently with countries and people

1086
01:48:24,680 --> 01:48:30,890
that we haven't talked to before. He's building
new partnerships -- and these partnerships

1087
01:48:30,890 --> 01:48:34,450
he hopes will be based on mutual trust and
respect.

1088
01:48:34,450 --> 01:48:40,000
But one of the things that the President has
said is that this new era of engagement can't

1089
01:48:40,000 --> 01:48:46,30
just be between governments -- you know, it's
not just about the presidents and prime ministers

1090
01:48:46,30 --> 01:48:53,30
getting along. This new era of engagement
also has to be between the people -- the diplomats,

1091
01:48:54,890 --> 01:49:01,820
the business leaders, the scientists, the
health care workers. And yes, the teachers

1092
01:49:01,820 --> 01:49:08,570
and the students. Young people just like you
are a part of building that future and that

1093
01:49:08,570 --> 01:49:15,90
engagement, the ability to exchange with one
another as young people as you are is critical.

1094
01:49:15,90 --> 01:49:19,90
And that's why the President, when he goes
to another country he makes it a point to

1095
01:49:19,90 --> 01:49:26,50
visit and to speak with students all around
the world -- whether he was in Europe or Cairo

1096
01:49:26,50 --> 01:49:32,890
or China -- he always reaches out to young
people. And we need to expand that type of

1097
01:49:32,890 --> 01:49:39,880
educational exchange, so that students like
all of you here have the opportunity to experience

1098
01:49:39,880 --> 01:49:46,880
and learn from other cultures -- and to share
your own culture, however unique and different,

1099
01:49:47,570 --> 01:49:50,179
with other parts of the world.

1100
01:49:50,180 --> 01:49:54,370
Deepening these ties is one of the things
that the President and the Prime Minister

1101
01:49:54,370 --> 01:50:01,370
are working on today, one of the reasons for
the trip and the state dinner is for these

1102
01:50:01,380 --> 01:50:08,180
leaders to work together -- whether it's along
the lines of working on the economy or climate

1103
01:50:08,180 --> 01:50:14,310
change or global health -- they know that
young people like you, students, our future

1104
01:50:14,310 --> 01:50:21,310
leaders are among America's greatest ambassadors
and India's greatest ambassadors as well.

1105
01:50:22,770 --> 01:50:29,770
In fact, India sends more students to study
in this country than any other country -- this

1106
01:50:30,520 --> 01:50:37,520
year alone more than 100,000 students from
India came here to America to study somewhere.

1107
01:50:38,130 --> 01:50:45,130
So by doing that they learn from us, and we
learn from them in a very fundamental way.

1108
01:50:45,590 --> 01:50:51,710
And as a result of those interactions, we're
all the richer for it. And after today's visit,

1109
01:50:51,710 --> 01:50:58,380
we'll hopefully expand these exchanges even
more. And who knows, maybe one of you all

1110
01:50:58,380 --> 01:51:05,380
sitting at this table, one of our little mentees,
will be living and studying somewhere in India

1111
01:51:06,239 --> 01:51:13,239
-- maybe New Delhi or Mumbai or Bangalore.
Just imagine that, start thinking about your

1112
01:51:13,670 --> 01:51:20,280
future in that way. This visit at this table
is the beginning of that for all of you. Because,

1113
01:51:20,280 --> 01:51:27,280
again, governments alone can't build the future
that we want for the world. That's the job

1114
01:51:28,80 --> 01:51:30,10
for each and every one of us.

1115
01:51:30,10 --> 01:51:34,540
So that's one of the lessons for today. It's
our job -- and that's one of the lessons of

1116
01:51:34,540 --> 01:51:38,650
the relationship between the United States
and India.

1117
01:51:38,650 --> 01:51:45,650
Back when the President was a senator, he
kept a picture of Mahatma Gandhi, the father

1118
01:51:46,489 --> 01:51:53,209
of India, in his office. And it was before
he was a senator, he was always a big supporter

1119
01:51:53,210 --> 01:52:00,210
and admirer of Gandhi, because Gandhi inspired
so many people -- in India and all around

1120
01:52:00,219 --> 01:52:07,110
the world -- with his example of dignity and
tolerance and peace. And with a simple call,

1121
01:52:07,110 --> 01:52:14,110
Gandhi would say: To be the change we wish
to see in the world -- we are that change.

1122
01:52:15,469 --> 01:52:17,800
We are that change.

1123
01:52:17,800 --> 01:52:23,590
So again, today is a celebration of the great
ties between the world's two largest democracies

1124
01:52:23,590 --> 01:52:29,820
-- that's the United States and that's India.
But it's also an opportunity to deepen those

1125
01:52:29,820 --> 01:52:36,280
ties -- and a reminder to be the change that
each of us seeks -- whether that's in your

1126
01:52:36,280 --> 01:52:42,759
home or in your school or in your community
or in your country, you are all the change

1127
01:52:42,760 --> 01:52:45,30
that we need.

1128
01:52:45,30 --> 01:52:52,30
So I'll stop lecturing and I will now turn
it over to Bill and to Tanya, who will talk

1129
01:52:52,270 --> 01:52:57,910
a bit more about the history and protocol.
And then we get to test out some of the food.

1130
01:52:57,910 --> 01:53:04,769
So again, we are proud to see you, happy to
see you. We're going to see you again in December,

1131
01:53:04,770 --> 01:53:09,360
because we're going to do some more fun stuff.
I know we have three new mentees here. Can

1132
01:53:09,360 --> 01:53:15,699
you guys, the new mentees, raise your hands?
I see some new faces. Welcome. It's good to

1133
01:53:15,699 --> 01:53:20,960
have you. We're going to have a lot of fun.
Just ignore them, pretend that they're not

1134
01:53:20,960 --> 01:53:26,460
here. (Laughter.) And I'll turn it over to
Bill. Thank you guys, so much. Bill.

1135
01:53:26,460 --> 01:53:33,199
MRS. OBAMA: Good afternoon. Welcome to the
White House and Happy Holidays! Thanks to

1136
01:53:33,199 --> 01:53:38,429
all of you for joining us here today as we
preview how we will mark the holidays here

1137
01:53:38,430 --> 01:53:40,270
at the White House.

1138
01:53:40,270 --> 01:53:47,270
Now, like many years past, we've actually
been planning this day, and the holiday season,

1139
01:53:47,390 --> 01:53:54,390
since the summer. And our starting point was
a very simple idea: that we include as many

1140
01:53:54,690 --> 01:54:00,389
people, in as many places, in as many ways
as we can.

1141
01:54:00,390 --> 01:54:06,730
So we decided to do something just a little
different. We took about 800 ornaments left

1142
01:54:06,730 --> 01:54:12,468
over from previous administrations, we sent
them to 60 local community groups throughout

1143
01:54:12,469 --> 01:54:18,219
the country, and asked them to decorate them
to pay tribute to a favorite local landmark

1144
01:54:18,219 --> 01:54:23,400
and then send them back to us for display
here at the White House.

1145
01:54:23,400 --> 01:54:30,400
And today, thanks to the East Wing and Residence
staff, and 92 volunteers from 24 states who

1146
01:54:31,270 --> 01:54:37,560
spent more than 3,400 hours decorating over
the last several days, we have ornaments hanging

1147
01:54:37,560 --> 01:54:42,640
on the tree behind me throughout the White
House and everywhere else that include the

1148
01:54:42,640 --> 01:54:49,000
Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Kennedy
Center -- Space Center, as well as some less

1149
01:54:49,000 --> 01:54:56,000
known places like Davy Crockett Park in Tennessee,
Pompey's Pillar in Billings, Montana and one

1150
01:54:57,430 --> 01:55:01,620
of my favorites, the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

1151
01:55:01,620 --> 01:55:07,290
We also have one of the favorite traditions
here at the White House on display -– it's

1152
01:55:07,290 --> 01:55:14,290
the gingerbread masterpiece by our brilliant
chef Bill Yosses, and his team.

1153
01:55:14,780 --> 01:55:19,910
But this year we've included something a little
bit different. In addition to the gingerbread

1154
01:55:19,910 --> 01:55:26,910
White House we also have the White House Kitchen
Garden on the South Lawn, a shadow box that

1155
01:55:28,150 --> 01:55:33,129
lets you look into the gingerbread White House
and view the State Dining Room. And I just

1156
01:55:33,130 --> 01:55:39,340
saw there's also a little Bo replica. (Laughter.)
So that's a new addition.

1157
01:55:39,340 --> 01:55:45,140
And we opened the doors last night to the
first of more than 50,000 visitors who will

1158
01:55:45,140 --> 01:55:50,570
come to the White House during this holiday
season, and it's safe to say that everyone

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01:55:50,570 --> 01:55:55,469
was really impressed. And I heard you all
partying last night. You had a great time.

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01:55:55,469 --> 01:55:56,260
(Laughter.)

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01:55:56,260 --> 01:56:01,310
For many people, a visit to the White House
is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it

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01:56:01,310 --> 01:56:07,570
has been made even more magical because of
all of your hard work, all of our volunteers.

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01:56:07,570 --> 01:56:14,330
So I want to take just a moment again to thank
all of our volunteers who spent so much time

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01:56:14,330 --> 01:56:19,900
making this White House such a special treat,
and we hope you had as good a time as it sounded

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01:56:19,900 --> 01:56:26,449
like you had last night. (Laughter.) Your
work has really transformed the White House,

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01:56:26,449 --> 01:56:31,190
which is, as we always say, the people's house,
and we're so grateful for everything that

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01:56:31,190 --> 01:56:36,320
you've done to make this really a special
treat for all of us.

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01:56:36,320 --> 01:56:42,420
And finally, I want to take a moment to talk
about why we chose this year's theme, which

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01:56:42,420 --> 01:56:46,70
is "Reflect, Rejoice and Renew."

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01:56:46,70 --> 01:56:52,239
And for the Obama family, Christmas and the
New Year has always been a time to reflect

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01:56:52,239 --> 01:56:59,239
on our many blessings, to rejoice in the pleasure
of spending time with our family and our friends,

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01:56:59,300 --> 01:57:05,70
and to renew our commitment to one another
and to the causes that we believe in. And

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01:57:05,70 --> 01:57:09,719
I wanted to continue that part of the tradition
during our first holiday season here at the

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01:57:09,719 --> 01:57:11,190
White House.

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01:57:11,190 --> 01:57:17,59
And this year has been filled with an infinite
number of blessings for me and my family.

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01:57:17,60 --> 01:57:23,170
And I say this all the time, but every day
I am honored to be this nation's First Lady.

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01:57:23,170 --> 01:57:27,840
And from the day that my family arrived here,
I have wanted the American people to share

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01:57:27,840 --> 01:57:33,120
in our journey, to share in the history and
the excitement that makes the White House

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01:57:33,120 --> 01:57:38,120
such a special landmark in this nation.

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01:57:38,120 --> 01:57:43,410
That's why we've worked so hard throughout
this year to invite as many people as possible

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01:57:43,410 --> 01:57:50,410
to events here at the White House. We've tried
to showcase talents and contributions of our

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01:57:50,730 --> 01:57:57,589
artists and our inventors, of students and
masters, of exalted heroes and ordinary citizens

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01:57:57,590 --> 01:58:03,500
of every age and every background. The idea
has been to create an environment where every

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01:58:03,500 --> 01:58:09,790
story and every voice is welcome in the White
House, and for all of us to rejoice in their

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01:58:09,790 --> 01:58:15,300
accomplishments and to celebrate their contributions
to the life of this nation.

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01:58:15,300 --> 01:58:22,300
And in the new year, we all intend to renew
this effort and continue this kind of outreach,

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01:58:22,400 --> 01:58:27,750
so that everyone feels like they have a place
here at the White House. And I know many people

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01:58:27,750 --> 01:58:34,110
approach the holidays in the same way in their
own lives, and that at this time of year for

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01:58:34,110 --> 01:58:41,110
so many people, they are looking for opportunities
to give thanks and to give back. And we're

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01:58:41,449 --> 01:58:46,509
doing the same thing here at the White House.
We're focusing our efforts this year on two

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01:58:46,510 --> 01:58:53,510
very important causes -- we're supporting
local food banks, and the Toys for Tots program.

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01:58:55,219 --> 01:59:02,219
Hunger is on the rise here in America, hitting
its highest levels in nearly 15 years. A recent

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01:59:02,969 --> 01:59:09,969
report released by the USDA reveals that in
2008, an estimated 1.1 million children were

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01:59:10,390 --> 01:59:17,230
living in households that experienced hunger
multiple times over this year. And, of course,

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01:59:17,230 --> 01:59:22,739
no child in the United States of America should
ever go to bed hungry, and no family in this

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01:59:22,739 --> 01:59:28,169
country should have to worry that they won't
have food on the table, not just during the

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01:59:28,170 --> 01:59:30,410
holidays, but every day.

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01:59:30,410 --> 01:59:35,889
So to combat hunger this winter, in coordination
with the Corporation for National and Community

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01:59:35,890 --> 01:59:42,890
Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
we're launching the United We Serve "Feed

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01:59:43,640 --> 01:59:49,900
a Neighbor" initiative. And this is a program
that will provide all Americans with resources

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01:59:49,900 --> 01:59:56,900
to help combat hunger in their own communities.
This initiative is a great way for you, for

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01:59:57,410 --> 02:00:02,680
all Americans, along with their friends and
families, to give back not just during the

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02:00:02,680 --> 02:00:09,680
holidays, but throughout the year. By going
to serve.gov, this program will connect Americans

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02:00:10,70 --> 02:00:16,570
to opportunities like delivering meals to
homebound seniors, offering professional skills

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02:00:16,570 --> 02:00:23,570
at a food pantry, or planting a community
garden and sharing produce with neighbors.

1206
02:00:23,620 --> 02:00:29,330
We're also pleased to be supporting the Toys
for Tots program. Over the past year, I've

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02:00:29,330 --> 02:00:34,280
had the privilege of visiting servicemen and
women, and their families, all across this

1208
02:00:34,280 --> 02:00:40,259
country, and have spent much of my time in
the White House working to ensure that we

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02:00:40,260 --> 02:00:42,640
properly honor their service.

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02:00:42,640 --> 02:00:48,60
And each time I visit a base or meet with
members of our Armed Forces and veterans,

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02:00:48,60 --> 02:00:55,60
I'm struck not just by the extraordinary sacrifices
they and their family make to serve our country,

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02:00:55,739 --> 02:01:00,239
but by all they do to help others right here
at home in their own communities.

1213
02:01:00,239 --> 02:01:07,209
And the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for
Tots program is a great example of how servicemen

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02:01:07,210 --> 02:01:14,210
and women are doing even more than just serving
our country in uniform. For more than 62 years,

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02:01:14,219 --> 02:01:21,219
Marines have distributed more than 400 million
toys to more than 188 million needy children.

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02:01:22,160 --> 02:01:29,160
And in 2008 alone, the program was active
in 657 communities in all 50 states, the District

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02:01:30,50 --> 02:01:36,780
of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Marines and volunteers distributed more than

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02:01:36,780 --> 02:01:43,780
16.2 million toys that year to 7.6 million
children. That was one of their best years

1219
02:01:44,660 --> 02:01:45,849
ever.

1220
02:01:45,850 --> 02:01:50,989
So I'm thrilled this year that the White House
staff is going to be supporting these efforts

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02:01:50,989 --> 02:01:56,509
with a toy drive to help make the holidays
a little brighter for children in the surrounding

1222
02:01:56,510 --> 02:02:03,370
communities. The Toys for Tots headquarters
is located outside of Marine Corps base Quantico,

1223
02:02:03,370 --> 02:02:08,320
and I look forward to visiting there later
this month to personally deliver the toys

1224
02:02:08,320 --> 02:02:11,799
that we collect here at the White House.

1225
02:02:11,800 --> 02:02:16,120
So these are just two important ways that
we'll be marking the holidays here at the

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02:02:16,120 --> 02:02:23,120
White House. So the President and I are urging
everyone to join us in these efforts, or to

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02:02:23,620 --> 02:02:28,870
find some way to give back some time during
this holiday season.

1228
02:02:28,870 --> 02:02:35,870
So on behalf of the Obama family, I wish all
of you a joyous and meaningful holiday season.

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02:02:36,410 --> 02:02:42,40
And it is my pleasure to introduce Toys for
Tots President and CEO, Lieutenant General

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02:02:42,40 --> 02:02:47,430
Pete Osman, who will provide some additional
information about this year's program.

1231
02:02:47,430 --> 02:02:48,320
Thank you all very much.

1232
02:02:48,320 --> 02:02:53,219
MRS. OBAMA: Well, thank you, everyone. It's
good to see you all. Man, okay, you can make

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02:02:53,219 --> 02:02:58,810
some noise. (Laughter.) I know they've told
you to be restricted and -- but it's Christmas!

1234
02:02:58,810 --> 02:03:02,330
(Laughter.) And we brought toys. It's so good
to see everybody.

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02:03:02,330 --> 02:03:09,330
Let me thank a few people -- Major Stapp for
all his work and leadership, and his wife

1236
02:03:09,380 --> 02:03:14,640
and his family, all of your families who have
helped. We know that the Marine Corps, you

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02:03:14,640 --> 02:03:18,170
guys do a lot of the work, but you couldn't
do what you do if you didn't have your families

1238
02:03:18,170 --> 02:03:23,680
supporting you. So I want to thank all the
spouses who've stepped up, as well.

1239
02:03:23,680 --> 02:03:29,670
I want to thank all the volunteers who have
lent a hand to this effort. We've tried to

1240
02:03:29,670 --> 02:03:35,489
do our part at the White House. We've made
an announcement. We've led a wonderful drive

1241
02:03:35,489 --> 02:03:41,59
that Tara and Lindsey have worked on on our
end. And I want to find Tara and Lindsey.

1242
02:03:41,60 --> 02:03:46,860
Where are you, guys? Just raise your hands
because -- oh, you guys are back there. (Applause.)

1243
02:03:46,860 --> 02:03:52,849
Tara and Lindsey helped to coordinate the
effort at the White House, and they did a

1244
02:03:52,850 --> 02:03:54,40
phenomenal job.

1245
02:03:54,40 --> 02:03:58,960
We only brought 30 percent of what we actually
collected because that's all that we could

1246
02:03:58,960 --> 02:04:05,429
fit into the van, but we are still collecting
as we speak. Every office in the White House,

1247
02:04:05,429 --> 02:04:10,810
not just in the actual White House building,
but in the executive building, everyone has

1248
02:04:10,810 --> 02:04:17,30
chipped in and stepped up beyond belief. This
was one of the easy asks that we've had to

1249
02:04:17,30 --> 02:04:17,960
do this year.

1250
02:04:17,960 --> 02:04:23,100
So I want to thank you for allowing us to
be a part of this. The work that you do, particularly

1251
02:04:23,100 --> 02:04:29,770
in these economic times, are so important.
And what you guys represent, the Marine Corps,

1252
02:04:29,770 --> 02:04:36,770
in this effort, as I was saying earlier, is
that in a time where you all are already serving

1253
02:04:37,540 --> 02:04:43,70
and making such a huge sacrifice, all of you
-- the troops and their families -- that you

1254
02:04:43,70 --> 02:04:48,469
show America that you can dig even deeper
in this time, and put your time and effort

1255
02:04:48,469 --> 02:04:53,670
into making sure that kids all around this
country have something wonderful to wake up

1256
02:04:53,670 --> 02:05:00,600
to on Christmas morning, that's what America
is all about -- people already sacrificing,

1257
02:05:00,600 --> 02:05:03,120
stepping up, and doing a little bit more.

1258
02:05:03,120 --> 02:05:08,739
And we are just so proud and so grateful for
what you were doing for this country, what

1259
02:05:08,739 --> 02:05:14,500
you've done for this effort. And we will be
a part of this as long as I'm in the White

1260
02:05:14,500 --> 02:05:17,350
House. We will be continuing to help this
effort.

1261
02:05:17,350 --> 02:05:22,900
So I want to thank you all from the bottom
of my hearts. And on behalf of the President,

1262
02:05:22,900 --> 02:05:29,49
Malia, Sasha, Bo, and Grandma -- (laughter)
-- we wish everybody a Happy Holidays, a Merry

1263
02:05:29,50 --> 02:05:34,620
Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, everybody out
there who's celebrating anything happy. (Laughter.)

1264
02:05:34,620 --> 02:05:41,620
So let's get to work. We've got work to do.
Alright. (Applause.)

Michelle Obama Speeches: Women in the Military, Health Insurance Reform, Diet, and Exercise Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Nurjaya Official

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