WEEKLY ADDRESS: Observing 9/11 with National Service
WASHINGTON— In this week’s address, President Obama called on the American people to come together in the spirit of service and remembrance as we approach the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. All Americans can pay tribute to those who lost their lives during 9/11 by visiting Serve.Gov to find ways to help within their own communities. Through even the smallest of actions, we can reclaim the sense of unity that followed the attacks, and demonstrate that our sense of common purpose is just as strong today as it was ten years ago. Americans can once again come together to mark this solemn anniversary with service, and move towards a bright future as one nation.
The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, August 27, 2011.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Saturday, August 27, 2011
In just two weeks, we’ll come together, as a nation, to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. We’ll remember the innocent lives we lost. We’ll stand with the families who loved them. We’ll honor the heroic first responders who rushed to the scene and saved so many. And we’ll pay tribute to our troops and military families, and all those who have served over the past ten years, to keep us safe and strong.
We’ll also recall how the worst terrorist attack in American history brought out the best in the American people. How Americans lined up to give blood. How volunteers drove across the country to lend a hand. How schoolchildren donated their savings. How communities, faith groups and businesses collected food and clothing.
We were united, and the outpouring of generosity and compassion reminded us that in times of challenge, we Americans move forward together, as one people.
This September 11th, Michelle and I will join the commemorations at Ground Zero, in Shanksville, and at the Pentagon. But even if you can’t be in New York, Pennsylvania or Virginia, every American can be part of this anniversary. Once again, 9/11 will be a National Day of Service and Remembrance. And in the days and weeks ahead, folks across the country—in all 50 states—will come together, in their communities and neighborhoods, to honor the victims of 9/11 and to reaffirm the strength of our nation with acts of service and charity.
In Minneapolis, volunteers will help restore a community center. In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, they’ll hammer shingles and lay floors to give families a new home. In Tallahassee, Florida, they’ll assemble care packages for our troops overseas and their families here at home. In Orange County, California, they’ll renovate homes for our veterans. And once again, Michelle and I look forward to joining a local service project as well.
There are so many ways to get involved, and every American can do something. To learn more about the opportunities where you live, just go online and visit Serve.gov. Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost; a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.
On this 10th anniversary, we still face great challenges as a nation. We’re emerging from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. We’re taking the fight to al Qaeda, ending the war in Iraq and starting to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. And we’re working to rebuild the foundation of our national strength here at home.
None of this will be easy. And it can’t be the work of government alone. As we saw after 9/11, the strength of America has always been the character and compassion of our people. So as we mark this solemn anniversary, let’s summon that spirit once more. And let’s show that the sense of common purpose that we need in America doesn’t have to be a fleeting moment; it can be a lasting virtue—not just on one day, but every day.
President Obama Signs New York Emergency Declaration
The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of New York and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Irene beginning on August 25, 2011, and continuing.
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, and Suffolk.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
Statement by the President on the Attack in Mexico
I strongly condemn the barbaric and reprehensible attack in Monterrey, Mexico yesterday. On behalf of the American people, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this difficult time.
The people of Mexico and their government are engaged in a brave fight to disrupt violent transnational criminal organizations that threaten both Mexico and the United States. The United States is and will remain a partner in this fight. We share with Mexico responsibility for meeting this challenge and we are committed to continuing our unprecedented cooperation in confronting these criminal organizations.
Statement by the President on the Attack on the United Nations in Abuja, Nigeria
I strongly condemn today’s horrific and cowardly attack on the United Nations headquarters building in Abuja, Nigeria, which killed and wounded many innocent civilians from Nigeria and around the world. I extend the deepest sympathies of the American people to the victims and their families, colleagues, and friends, whom we will keep in our thoughts and prayers.
The people who serve the United Nations do so with a simple purpose: to try to improve the lives of their neighbors and promote the values on which the UN was founded — dignity, freedom, security, and peace. The UN has been working in partnership with the people of Nigeria for more than five decades. An attack on Nigerian and international public servants demonstrates the bankruptcy of the ideology that led to this heinous action.
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
ON PREPARATIONS FOR HURRICANE IRENE
Fisher House at Blue Heron Farm
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
11:28 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I want to say a few words about Hurricane Irene, urge Americans to take it seriously, and provide an overview of our ongoing federal preparations for what’s likely to be an extremely dangerous and costly storm.
I’ve just convened a conference call with senior members of my emergency response team and directed them to make sure that we are bringing all federal resources to bear and deploying them properly to cope not only with the storm but also its aftermath. I’ve also spoken this morning with governors and mayors of major metropolitan areas along the Eastern Seaboard to let them know that this administration is in full support of their efforts to prepare for this storm and stands ready to fully support their response efforts. And we will continue to stay in close contact with them.
I cannot stress this highly enough: If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. Don’t wait. Don’t delay. We all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst. All of us have to take this storm seriously. You need to listen to your state and local officials, and if you are given an evacuation order, please follow it. Just to underscore this point: We ordered an aircraft carrier group out to sea to avoid this storm yesterday. So if you’re in the way of this hurricane, you should be preparing now.
If you aren’t sure how to prepare your families or your home or your business for a hurricane or any other emergency, then you can visit Ready.gov — that’s Ready.gov — or Listo.gov. That’s Listo.gov.
Now, since last weekend, FEMA has been deploying its Incident Management Assistance Teams to staging areas in communities up and down the coast. FEMA has millions of liters of water, millions of meals, and tens of thousands of cots and blankets, along with other supplies, pre-positioned along the Eastern Seaboard. And the American Red Cross has already begun preparing shelters in North Carolina and other states.
These resources are all being coordinated with our state and local partners, and they stand ready to be deployed as necessary. But, again, if you are instructed to evacuate, please do so. It’s going to take time for first responders to begin rescue operations and to get the resources we’ve pre-positioned to people in need. So the more you can do to be prepared now — making a plan, make a supply kit, know your evacuation route, follow instructions of your local officials — the quicker we can focus our resources after the storm on those who need help the most.
To sum up, all indications point to this being a historic hurricane. Although we can’t predict with perfect certainty the impact of Irene over the next few days, the federal government has spent the better part of last week working closely with officials in communities that could be affected by this storm to see to it that we are prepared. So now is the time for residents of these communities — in the hours that remain — to do the same. And FEMA and Craig Fugate, the director of FEMA, will be keeping people closely posted in the next 24, 48 hours.
Thank you very much.