Skip to comments.Weekly Address: President Obama Extends Condolences to the Fort Hood Community (& pushes diversity)
Posted on 11/07/2009 8:56:06 AM PST by PghBaldy
"..They are Americans of every race, faith, and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers. They are descendents of immigrants and immigrants themselves. They reflect the diversity that makes this America. But what they share is a patriotism like no other. What they share is a commitment to country that has been tested and proved worthy. What they share is the same unflinching courage, unblinking compassion, and uncommon camaraderie that the soldiers and civilians of Ft. Hood showed America and showed the world..."
Id like to speak with you for a few minutes today about the tragedy that took place at Ft. Hood. This past Thursday, on a clear Texas afternoon, an Army psychiatrist walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, and began shooting his fellow soldiers.
It is an act of violence that would have been heartbreaking had it occurred anyplace in America. It is a crime that would have horrified us had its victims been Americans of any background. But its all the more heartbreaking and all the more despicable because of the place where it occurred and the patriots who were its victims.
The SRP is where our men and women in uniform go before getting deployed. Its where they get their teeth checked and their medical records updated and make sure everything is in order before getting shipped out. It was in this place, on a base where our soldiers ought to feel most safe, where those brave Americans who are preparing to risk their lives in defense of our nation, lost their lives in a crime against our nation.
Soldiers stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world called and emailed loved ones at Ft. Hood, all expressing the same stunned reaction: Im supposed to be the one in harms way, not you.
Thursdays shooting was one of the most devastating ever committed on an American military base. And yet, even as we saw the worst of human nature on full display, we also saw the best of America. We saw soldiers and civilians alike rushing to aid fallen comrades; tearing off bullet-riddled clothes to treat the injured; using blouses as tourniquets; taking down the shooter even as they bore wounds themselves.
We saw soldiers bringing to bear on our own soil the skills they had been trained to use abroad; skills that been honed through years of determined effort for one purpose and one purpose only: to protect and defend the United States of America.
We saw the valor, selflessness, and unity of purpose that make our servicemen and women the finest fighting force on Earth; that make the United States military the best the world has ever known; and that make all of us proud to be Americans.
On Friday, I met with FBI Director Mueller, Defense Secretary Gates, and representatives of the relevant agencies to discuss their ongoing investigation into what led to this terrible crime. And Ill continue to be in close contact with them as new information comes in.
We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing. But what we do know is that our thoughts are with every single one of the men and women who were injured at Ft. Hood. Our thoughts are with all the families whove lost a loved one in this national tragedy. And our thoughts are with all the Americans who wear or whove worn the proud uniform of the United States of America; our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coast guardsmen, and the military families who love and support them.
In tribute to those who fell at Ft. Hood, Ive ordered flags flying over the White House, and other federal buildings to be lowered to half-staff from now until Veterans Day next Wednesday. Veterans Day is our chance to honor those Americans whove served on battlefields from Lexington to Antietam, Normandy to Manila, Inchon to Khe Sanh, Ramadi to Kandahar.
They are Americans of every race, faith, and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers. They are descendents of immigrants and immigrants themselves. They reflect the diversity that makes this America. But what they share is a patriotism like no other. What they share is a commitment to country that has been tested and proved worthy. What they share is the same unflinching courage, unblinking compassion, and uncommon camaraderie that the soldiers and civilians of Ft. Hood showed America and showed the world.
These are the men and women we honor today. These are the men and women well honor on Veterans Day. And these are the men and women we shall honor every day, in times of war and times of peace, so long as our nation endures.
This is no time to be lecturing the people of the most diverse nation on earth about diversity. It is our love of diversity that welcomed Hasan into the US, educated him, gave him a job and promoted him to a Major in the US Army. This president has no clue.
Remarks by the President at the Closing of the Tribal Nations Conference
Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.
5:02 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Please, everybody have a seat. Let me first of all just thank Ken and the entire Department of the Interior staff for organizing just an extraordinary conference. I want to thank my Cabinet members and senior administration officials who participated today. I hear that Dr. Joe Medicine Crow was around, and so I want to give a shout-out to that Congressional Medal of Honor* winner. It’s good to see you. (Applause.)
My understanding is, is that you had an extremely productive conference. I want to thank all of you for coming and for your efforts, and I want to give you my solemn guarantee that this is not the end of a process but a beginning of a process, and that we are going to follow up. (Applause.) We are going to follow up. Every single member of my team understands that this is a top priority for us. I want you to know that, as I said this morning, this is not something that we just give lip service to. And we are going to keep on working with you to make sure that the first Americans get the best possible chances in life in a way that’s consistent with your extraordinary traditions and culture and values.
Now, I have to say, though, that beyond that, I plan to make some broader remarks about the challenges that lay ahead for Native Americans, as well as collaboration with our administration, but as some of you might have heard, there has been a tragic shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. We don’t yet know all the details at this moment; we will share them as we get them. What we do know is that a number of American soldiers have been killed, and even more have been wounded in a horrific outburst of violence.
My immediate thoughts and prayers are with the wounded and with the families of the fallen, and with those who live and serve at Fort Hood. These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis. It’s difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil.
I’ve spoken to Secretary Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, and I will continue to receive a constant stream of updates as new information comes in. We are working with the Pentagon, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, all to ensure that Fort Hood is secure, and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal government.
In the meantime, I would ask all Americans to keep the men and women of Fort Hood in your thoughts and prayers. We will make sure that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident. And I want all of you to know that as Commander-in-Chief, there’s no greater honor but also no greater responsibility for me than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for and that their safety and security when they are at home is provided for.
So we are going to stay on this. But I hope in the meantime that all of you recognize the scope of this tragedy, and keep everybody in their thoughts and prayers.
Again, thank you for your participation here today. I am confident that this is going to be resulting in terrific work between this government and your governments in the weeks, the months, and years to come. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
5:08 P.M. EST
*President Medal of Freedom
When a Muslim starts shouting "Allah Akbar" and murdering infidels, it's perfectly clear what has lead him to do such a thing.
Funny, I had a totally different word in mind for the last one.
The WH website highlights the word, “despicable,” on the homepage (with quotation marks). I guess people compared his previous statements, and like the shooting at the Arkansas recruitment center, again by a Muslim, his first instincts were to give a lukewarm response. Especially in comparison to his reaction to the murder of Tiller.
But maybe this will do.
Rather than talking about diversity, how about justice for those killed and wounded and their grieving families?
Probably just a spelling error.
Only people like Obama would inject racism into such a sad situation.
Go golfing, Barry.
What is worse is that we let PCness blind us to signs of trouble when he began to brood on the more vicious side of Islam.
Too bad Zero doesn’t share their patriotism
Mighty white of him!
Unity is what the USA is about, Right?
Out of many one.
Geeze the dems get it all wrong again. I’m going to rename them the party of wrong!
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