24 Army Veterans Awarded The U.S. Medal of Honor

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress on members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.

Members of all branches of the armed forces are eligible to receive the medal, and there are three versions; one for the Army, one for the Air Force, and one for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon an individual by the passing of a Joint Resolution in the Congress; and is then personally presented to the recipient or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin, by the President of the United States, on behalf of the Congress, representing and recognizing the gratitude of the American people as a whole.

On March 18th, 2014, President Barack Obama will award 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. These veterans will receive the Medal of Honor in recognition of their valor during major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Each of these Soldiers’ bravery was previously recognized by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award; that award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor in recognition of their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to:

Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia
Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris
Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela

President Obama will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to:

The following individuals distinguished themselves by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving during the Vietnam War.

Sergeant Candelario Garcia
Specialist Four Leonard L. Alvarado
Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon
Specialist Four Ardie R. Copas
Specialist Four Jesus S. Duran

The following individuals distinguished themselves by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving during the Korean War.

Corporal Joe R. Baldonado
Corporal Victor H. Espinoza
Sergeant Eduardo C. Gomez
Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz
Master Sergeant Juan E. Negron
Master Sergeant Mike C. Pena
Private Demensio Rivera
Private Miguel A. Vera
Sergeant Jack Weinstein

The following individuals distinguished themselves by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving during World War II.

Private Pedro Cano
Private Joe Gandara
Private First Class Salvador J. Lara
Sergeant William F. Leonard
Staff Sergeant Manuel V. Mendoza
Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel
First Lieutenant Donald K. Schwab

For more information on this event and it’s recipients: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/21/president-obama-award-medal-honor

To see photos of the  recipients: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/03/18/president-obama-awards-medal-honor-24-army-veterans

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March 18, 2014
President Barack Obama awards 24 Army veterans
the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry
White House

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33 Responses to 24 Army Veterans Awarded The U.S. Medal of Honor

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    5:00 AM
    5:15 AM
    Vice President Biden arrives Warsaw, Poland
    Chopin International Airport

    6:00 AM
    7:00 AM
    7:15 AM
    Vice President Biden arrives at the Polish Prime Minister’s Chancellery
    Warsaw, Poland

    7:30 AM
    Vice President Biden meets with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk
    Warsaw, Poland

    8:00 AM
    8:30 AM
    Vice President Biden and Polish Prime Minister Tusk deliver statements to the press
    Warsaw, Poland

    9:00 AM
    Vice President Biden meets with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski
    The Presidential Palace, Warsaw, Poland

    10:00 AM
    10:30 AM
    Vice President Biden and Polish President Komorowski deliver statements to the press
    The Presidential Palace, Warsaw, Poland

    11:00 AM
    11:15 AM
    Vice President Biden meets with Estonian President Toomas Ilves
    Warsaw Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, Poland

    12:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

    12:15 PM ET
    Vice President Biden and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves deliver statements to the press
    Warsaw Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, Poland

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:45 PM
    Vice President Biden arrives Vilnius, Lithuania
    Vilnius Airport

    3:00 PM
    3:40 PM
    President Barack Obama awards 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry uring World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War
    East Room

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:20 PM
    President Barack Obama attends a DNC fundraiser
    Washington DC

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    Vice President Biden overnights in Vilnius, Lithuania

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      March 18 , 2014

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      12:00 PM ET
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press

      12:15 PM ET
      Vice President Biden Holds a Joint Press Statement with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
      Warsaw, Poland

      3:40 PM ET
      President Barack Obama awards 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry uring World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War
      East Room

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      8:30 AM ET
      Wilson (Woodrow) International Center for Scholars
      The Wilson Center held a briefing and discussion with Palestinian Authority Lead Negotiator Saeb Erekat on the state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/318348-1

      10:00 AM ET
      DNC Chairman Wasserman Schultz
      DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz holds a press conference on the Republican National Committee’s 2013 Growth and Opportunity Project report. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/318348-1

      10:00 AM ET
      Atlantic Council: Economic Summit
      Sylvia Burwell; Michael Froman
      Atlantic Council held its third annual Economy Summit. Top Congressional and Federal officials joined advocates and policy experts for panel discussions on America’s fiscal future. http://www.c-span.org/video/?318350-1/atlantic-council-holds-economic-summit

      12:00 PM ET
      White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press http://www.c-span.org/video/?318354-1/white-house-briefing-press-sec-jay-carney

      3:40 PM ET
      President Barack Obama awards 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry uring World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War http://www.c-span.org/video/?318354-2/white-house-president-obama-presents-medal-honor

      ———

      Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov

      3:40 PM ET
      President Barack Obama awards 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry uring World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War

  2. CR says:

    24 Army Veterans Awarded The U.S. Medal of Honor

    The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress on members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.

    Members of all branches of the armed forces are eligible to receive the medal, and there are three versions; one for the Army, one for the Air Force, and one for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon an individual by the passing of a Joint Resolution in the Congress; and is then personally presented to the recipient or, in the case of posthumous awards, to next of kin, by the President of the United States, on behalf of the Congress, representing and recognizing the gratitude of the American people as a whole.

    • CR says:

      On March 18th, 2014, President Barack Obama will award 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. These veterans will receive the Medal of Honor in recognition of their valor during major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Each of these Soldiers’ bravery was previously recognized by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award; that award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor in recognition of their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

      President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to:

      Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia
      Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris
      Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela

      President Obama will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to:

      The following individuals distinguished themselves by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving during the Vietnam War.

      Sergeant Candelario Garcia
      Specialist Four Leonard L. Alvarado
      Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon
      Specialist Four Ardie R. Copas
      Specialist Four Jesus S. Duran

      The following individuals distinguished themselves by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving during the Korean War.

      Corporal Joe R. Baldonado
      Corporal Victor H. Espinoza
      Sergeant Eduardo C. Gomez
      Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz
      Master Sergeant Juan E. Negron
      Master Sergeant Mike C. Pena
      Private Demensio Rivera
      Private Miguel A. Vera
      Sergeant Jack Weinstein

      The following individuals distinguished themselves by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving during World War II.

      Private Pedro Cano
      Private Joe Gandara
      Private First Class Salvador J. Lara
      Sergeant William F. Leonard
      Staff Sergeant Manuel V. Mendoza
      Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel
      First Lieutenant Donald K. Schwab

      For more information on this event and it’s recipients: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/21/president-obama-award-medal-honor

    • CR says:

      Eight Vietnam veterans to receive Medals of Honor

      March 5, 2014 By J.D. Leipold – army.mil

      WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 5, 2014) — Eight Vietnam-era Soldiers will be awarded the Medal of Honor at a March 18 White House ceremony. The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military award for gallantry and valorous actions.

      Three Medals of Honor will be awarded to living veterans and five to the families of deceased Soldiers who served in Vietnam. At the same time, President Barack Obama will award Medals of Honor posthumously to seven Soldiers who served in World War II and nine who fought in Korea.

      In fact, most Medals of Honor since the award’s creation in 1862 have been posthumous and awarded to families of the fallen.

      The Soldiers are receiving the medals for their heroic actions in combat for which they were originally awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, or DSC, the nation’s second highest military decoration for bravery.

      DSC upgrades to Medals of Honor are rare. Of 13,000 DSCs awarded since 1917, only 178 have been upgraded to Medals of Honor, following re-evaluations and reviews of additional supporting evidence.

      Until now, 161 U.S. Soldiers have received Medals of Honor for heroic actions in Vietnam to save their fellow brothers-in-arms from enemy forces.

      50 YEARS AGO

      After the French left what had formerly been a colony called French Indochina, two new countries were created in its place: North Vietnam, with a communist government supported by the Soviet Union and China; and South Vietnam, with a democratic government supported with advisors and equipment from the United States.

      As had happened with North and South Korea, in North Vietnam the communist government wanted to reunite with South Vietnam under one flag. After seeing what had happened in Korea, the U.S. became more concerned about the rise of communism in surrounding Southeast Asia.

      On March 8, 1965, America’s ground war in Vietnam started when 3,500 U.S. Marines were deployed with the American public’s support. By Christmas, nearly 200,000 Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors were in the country. At war’s end, on April 30, 1975, nearly 3 million Americans had served on the ground, in the air and on the South China Sea.

      Nearly 41,000 American service members lost their lives as a result of direct combat. But the total death toll was higher: a total of 58,280 veterans died from combat injuries or illnesses brought on by their Vietnam tours.

      For more: http://www.army.mil/article/118208/Eight_Vietnam_veterans_to_receive_Medals_of___/

    • CR says:

      Overlooked no more
      Obama to award Medal of Honor to 19 overlooked minority service members

      Friday, February 21, 2014 By Scott Wilson, washingtonpost

      President Obama will correct a historical act of discrimination next month when he awards the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest commendation for combat valor, to 19 Hispanic, Jewish and African-American veterans overlooked previously because of their racial or ethnic backgrounds.

      The unusual presentation will culminate a 12-year Pentagon review ordered by Congress into past discrimination in the ranks, and will hold a particular poignancy hosted by the nation’s first African-American president.

      Although the review predates Obama’s tenure, he has made addressing discrimination in the military ranks — including ending the ban on gay and lesbian service members — a priority as commander in chief.

      The recipients, which the White House will announce Friday afternoon, served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Collectively their award ceremony will mark the single largest batch of Medal of Honor recipients since World War II, when more than two dozen service members were honored in the conflict’s last days. Just three of those to be honored are still alive.

      “We’re very proud of these soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, an army spokesperson. “This represents a new generation respecting the sacrifices made by previous ones.”

      The unusual historical accounting began in 2002 when Congress, as part of the defense spending bill, ordered the Pentagon to look into whether Jewish and Hispanic service members had been passed over unfairly for the nation’s highest military honor.

      Defense Department officials said there was specific evidence to suggest such discrimination may have existed in the ranks, including instances when Hispanic and Jewish soldiers apparently changed their names to hide their ethnicity. The Congressional order spanned the period from December 1941 through September 2001.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-to-ward-medal-of-honor-to-19-soldiers-who-were-overlooked-because-of-their-ethnicity/2014/02/21/209594e8-9b10-11e3-975d-107dfef7b668_story.html?hpid=z1

  3. CR says:

    8:30 AM ET
    Vice President Biden meets with the Polish President Komorowski and Prime Minister Tusk
    Warsaw, Poland

    • CR says:

      March 18, 2014

      Remarks to the Press by Vice President Joe Biden with Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland

      Prime Minister’s Chancellery
      Warsaw, Poland

      1:56 P.M. (Local)

      VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Mr. Prime Minister, these are challenging times. And I’ve known you for a while and the President and I have great respect for you, and we’re absolutely confident that we are up to the challenge. It’s more important today than ever that friends stand with one another and be unequivocal about it. That’s why I’m here in Poland, as a steadfast ally, an ally as — a country — as strong an ally as a country can wish to have, and you are among the best allies America has, Mr. Prime Minister.

      Ukraine — it’s an almost unbelievable set of events that has brought us here. The President asked me to come to Warsaw today to reaffirm the United States’ solemn commitment, solemn NATO commitment, and to consult with Poland’s leaders about the situation in Ukraine.

      The people of Ukraine have shown tremendous courage and they’ve worked very hard to realize their aspirations for a more democratic future, free of oligarchy and corruption; for a Ukraine connected to institutions and markets of Europe, but respectful of Ukraine’s deep cultural and economic ties to its neighbors.

      Unfortunately, Russia’s leaders have responded with a brazen — brazen military incursion, with a purposeful ratcheting up of ethnic tensions inside Ukraine, with a rushed and illegal referendum in Crimea that was, not surprisingly, rejected by virtually the entire world, and now, today, with steps to annex Crimea.

      We join Poland and the international community condemning the continuing assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the blatant — the blatant violation of international law by Mr. Putin and Russia.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/18/remarks-press-vice-president-joe-biden-prime-minister-donald-tusk-poland

  4. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Happy and HOPEful St. Patrick’s Day, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

  5. CR says:

    9:00 AM ET
    White House Champions of Change: Next Generation Conservation Leaders
    The White House

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      White House Champions of Change: Next Generation Conservation Leaders

      Published on Mar 18, 2014

      The White House celebrates local leaders from across the country who are working to get young people to play, learn, serve and work outdoors. The leaders promote environmental awareness and responsibility by offering outdoor work experiences for people of all ages, inspiring others to participate in outdoor recreation and physical activity, providing educational opportunities for students, and educating others about the environment and the impact of climate change. March 18, 2014.

  6. CR says:

    Consumer Prices Little Changed as U.S. Inflation Contained

    Mar 18, 2014 5:44 AM PT By Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

    The cost of living in the U.S. was little changed in February, showing inflation is making scant progress toward the Federal Reserve’s goal ahead of the policy makers’ meeting this week.

    The consumer-price index increased 0.1 percent, matching the advance in January and in line with the median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. Excluding volatile food and fuel, the so-called core measure also climbed 0.1 percent from January and was up 1.6 percent over the past 12 months, the same as in the previous month.

    Companies are keeping prices low to try to boost sales as unusually harsh weather has kept customers from venturing out to stores. Limited price pressures are giving the Fed room to keep interest rates low even as unemployment declines.

    “Firms are reluctant to raise prices, given that demand is still not where we want it to be,” said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh, who correctly projected the 0.1 percent rise in inflation. “The Fed has made it clear that they’re concerned about inflation being too low rather than too high.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-18/consumer-prices-in-u-s-little-changed-as-inflation-contained.html

  7. CR says:

    Housing Starts in U.S. Little Changed From Stronger January

    Mar 18, 2014 5:47 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

    Housing starts in the U.S. were little changed in February after declining less than previously estimated a month earlier, indicating the home-building industry is stabilizing after bad winter weather curbed construction.

    The 0.2 percent decrease to 907,000 homes at an annualized rate last month followed a revised 909,000 pace in January, figures from the Commerce Department in Washington showed today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for a 910,000 rate after a previously reported 880,000 in January.

    Warmer temperatures, a pickup in demand during the spring selling season and limited housing supply may help fuel further gains in new residential construction. The outlook for the industry later this year depends on whether hiring picks up enough to overcome higher mortgage rates and home prices.

    “We will see improvement as the year goes on and weather improves,” said David Sloan, a senior economist at 4cast Inc. in New York and the top-ranked forecaster of starts in the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “The pace of increase will be fairly moderate. It suggests we’re going to get respectable economic growth, but maybe not a strong acceleration.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-18/housing-starts-in-u-s-little-changed-from-stronger-january.html

  8. CR says:

    10:30 AM ET
    Vice President Biden and Polish President Komorowski deliver statements to the press
    The Presidential Palace, Warsaw, Poland

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      March 18, 2014

      Remarks to the Press by Vice President Joe Biden with President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland

      Presidential Palace
      Warsaw, Poland
      3:47 P.M. (Local)

      VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Mr. President, thank you very much. Let me begin where you ended. Russia has increased their budget. But I want to remind you, you have an ally whose budget is larger than the next 10 nations in the world combined. So while others may not have stood up to their responsibilities, the United States has more than stood up to its responsibilities. We have a budget larger than the next 10 nations in the world combined, so don’t worry about where we are. Number one.

      Number two, Mr. President, my mother used to have a saying — she’d say, you’re defined by your courage and you are redeemed by your loyalty. Well, I doubt there’s another nation on Earth that would better fit that description than Poland. The Polish coat of arms, the Solidarity flag hanging here over us, the Polish constitution in this room — it strikes me that I don’t think there’s a country in the world that knows better than Poland both the bitter cost of aggression and the sweetness of liberty.

      Today, Mr. President, the people of Ukraine are reaching for that very same right and freedoms that the Poles cherish. They want a government that serves its people and they want the right to free expression, the chance to choose Ukraine’s path and affiliations as a united nation without fear of coercion. That’s their goal, what you’ve accomplished.

      They understand that the verdict of history is absolutely clear: Societies like Poland that embrace these values — openness, freedom, the respect for the rule of law — they are the countries that own and will own the future. Those that bet instead on aggression and fear-mongering are bound to fail. And so we look to our Polish friends who made the journey of freedom within our lifetime to exercise leadership in helping Ukraine follow in your footsteps.

      Today, Mr. President, we spoke about a situation that’s unfolding in Ukraine. We agreed on the need for the United States, Poland and our European friends to stand together in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, rejecting Russia’s absolutely illegitimate claims and steps to annex Crimea, and imposing costs on Russia and Mr. Putin for Russian aggression while making it clear there is a better path if they choose to take it, and helping the Ukrainian people and their government as they chart a new future.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/18/remarks-press-vice-president-joe-biden-president-bronislaw-komorowski-po

  9. CR says:

    12:15 PM ET
    Vice President Biden Holds a Joint Press Statement with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
    Warsaw Marriott Hotel, Warsaw, Poland

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      March 18, 2014

      Remarks to the Press by Vice President Joe Biden and President Toomas Ilves of Estonia

      Warsaw Marriott Hotel
      Warsaw, Poland

      5:20 P.M. (Local)

      VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Good afternoon, everyone. Mr. President, I was pleased to have another chance to get together with you and speak with you today, and I appreciate the fact you made the time to see me in the midst of your own state visit to Poland. I appreciate it very much. And I look forward to seeing your fellow Baltic heads of state tomorrow in Vilnius.

      Estonia’s success is, in our view, a living testament to what’s possible — where innovators can breathe free and people can speak their minds, where democratic rights and universal freedoms are protected, and when countries are free to choose their own path.

      The Estonian people, like many of Russia’s neighbors, have a personal stake in what’s happening in Ukraine. Your history reminds us of how vigilant you have to remain. And today, Mr. President, we’ve consulted on a path ahead. We spoke about the steps we’re taking alongside many other nations to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; to help Ukraine stabilize its economy and conduct fair and free democratic elections; and to condemn and reject Russia’s illegal — absolutely illegal conduct in taking steps to annex Crimea. And also, we talked about how to impose costs on Russia for their aggression. There’s no other word for it; it’s aggression.

      And when we speak about costs, we’re talking about more than just sanctions. We’re talking about Russia putting itself on a path that undermines long-term confidence and creates obstacles for its full participation in the global economy. That path they’ve placed themselves on does nothing to help the next generation of Russians compete and succeed in a world that will be led by the most open, innovative and dynamic economies.

      The President and I also discussed our commitments as NATO allies. I came here today and will travel to Vilnius tomorrow to stand with our NATO allies and reconfirm and reaffirm our shared commitment to collective self-defense, to Article 5. I want to make it absolutely clear what it means to the Estonian people and all the people of the Baltics. President Obama and I view Article 5 of the NATO Treaty as an absolutely solemn commitment which we will honor — we will honor.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/18/remarks-press-vice-president-joe-biden-and-president-toomas-ilves-estoni

  10. CR says:

    3:40 PM ET
    President Barack Obama awards 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry uring World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War
    East Room

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/video/?318354-2/white-house-president-obama-presents-medal-honor

    Department of Defense http://www.defense.gov

    • CR says:

      March 18, 2014

      Remarks by the President at Presentation Ceremony for the Medal of Honor

      East Room

      3:33 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Please be seated. Well, welcome to the White House.

      The presentation of our nation’s highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor — is always a special occasion. But today, it is truly historic. This is the single largest group of servicemembers to be awarded the Medal of Honor since the Second World War. And with several of these soldiers recognized for their valor during that war, this ceremony is 70 years in the making. As one family member has said, this is long overdue.

      Many of these families — and I had a chance to meet all of them who are present here today — they’ve known these stories of heroism for decades. Still, they were pretty surprised when we called them to break the news about the Medal of Honor. Some of them thought it was a prank. (Laughter.) Some of them thought it was a scam. A few of them thought it might be some trick to get their credit card number. (Laughter.) When I called Melvin Morris — who we’ll recognize in a moment for his actions in Vietnam — his first reaction was, “Oh, my God, what have I done?” (Laughter.) When I told him it was all good — the Medal of Honor — I could hear through the phone, he almost passed out. (Laughter.)

      You see, for their gallantry under fire each of these soldiers was long ago recognized with the Army’s second-highest award — the Distinguished Service Cross. But ask their fellow veterans, ask their families, and they’ll tell you that their extraordinary deeds merited the highest recognition. And today, we have the chance to set the record straight.

      This ceremony reminds us of one of the enduring qualities that makes America great — that makes us exceptional. No nation is perfect, but here in America we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past — including the truth that some of these soldiers fought, and died, for a country that did not always see them as equal. So with each generation we keep on striving to live up to our ideals of freedom and equality, and to recognize the dignity and patriotism of every person, no matter who they are, what they look like, or how they pray.

      And that’s why, more than a decade ago, Congress mandated a review to make sure that the heroism of our veterans wasn’t overlooked because of prejudice or discrimination. Our military reviewed thousands of war records. They teamed up with veterans groups and museums to get this right. It was painstaking work, made even harder because sometimes our servicemembers felt as if they needed to change their last names to fit in. That tells a story about our past. But, ultimately, after years of review, these two dozen soldiers — among them Hispanic, African American and Jewish veterans — were identified as having earned the Medal of Honor. This is the length to which America will go to make sure everyone who serves under our proud flag receives the thanks that they deserve.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/18/remarks-president-presentation-ceremony-medal-honor

  11. CR says:

    WH

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    3:30 AM
    Vice President Biden arrives at the Presidential Palace in Lithuania
    Presidential Palace, Vilnius, Lithuania

    3:45 AM
    Vice President Biden meets with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė
    Presidential Palace, Vilnius, Lithuania

    4:00 AM
    Vice President Biden and Latvian President Grybauskaitė hold an expanded bilateral meeting
    Presidential Palace, Vilnius, Lithuania

    5:00 AM
    Vice President Biden meets with Latvian President Andris Bērziņš
    Presidential Palace, Vilnius, Lithuania

    6:00 AM
    Vice President Biden attends a working lunch with Lithuanian President Grybauskaitė and Latvian President Bērziņš
    Presidential Palace, Vilnius, Lithuania

    7:00 AM
    7:15 AM
    Vice President Biden, Lithuanian President Grybauskaitė, Latvian President Bērziņš deliver remarks
    Presidential Palace, Vilnius, Lithuania

    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    Vice President Biden departs Vilnius, Lithuania, en route to Washington, DC.

    First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters and her mother travel to China

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    Press Briefing by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

    2:00 PM
    2:25 PM
    President Obama Hosts a Screening of the Film Cesar Chavez
    The White House

    3:00 PM
    3:05 PM
    President Obama is interviewed by local news anchors participating in “Live from the White House”
    The Diplomatic Room

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  12. CR says:

    7:15 AM ET
    Vice President, Lithuanian President Grybauskaitė, Latvian President Bērziņš deliver remarks
    Presidential Palace, Vilnius, Lithuania

    • CR says:

      March 19, 2014

      Remarks to the Press by Vice President Joe Biden, President Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, and President Andris Berzins of Latvia

      Presidential Palace
      Vilnius, Lithuania

      1:20 P.M. (Local)

      PRESIDENT GRYBAUSKAITE: (As interpreted.) Good afternoon. So today we had an important meeting with U.S. Vice President Biden and Latvian President Berzins. With our partners, we discussed the situation in Ukraine and its impact on the security of the Baltic States and Europe as a whole. I see it as a threat not only to Ukraine but also to the entire international community.

      We witnessed the use of brutal force to redraw the map of Europe and to undermine the postwar political architecture established in Europe. We strongly condemn Russian actions on the territory of sovereign Ukraine. We consider Sunday’s referendum and its results illegal. The so-called referendum is a violation of the constitution of Ukraine, international law and the United Nations Charter.

      De facto Russia is carrying out the annexation of Crimea and this is happening very close to the borders of Lithuania. The situation is a direct threat to our regional security. Therefore, we must take all the necessary measures to ensure the security of Europe and the Baltic region.

      And this is what we discussed with Vice President Biden and Latvian President Berzins. And I would like to thank the United States, especially, which immediately responded to the threats and took all necessary actions to ensure regional security, including the reinforcement of NATO-Baltic air policing mission. The United States is a strategic partner of Lithuania and the Baltic countries. It has always firmly supported and continues to support our aspirations to ensure political, military, economic, and energy security in the region.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/19/remarks-press-vice-president-joe-biden-president-dalia-grybauskaite-lith

  13. CR says:

    US current account deficit falls to 14-year low

    3/19/14 By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER – Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Big gains in exports and overseas investment income narrowed the U.S. current account deficit to the lowest level in 14 years in the October-December quarter.

    The imbalance fell to $81.1 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $96.4 billion in the July-September quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That’s the smallest gap since the third quarter of 1999.

    The current account is the country’s broadest measure of trade, covering not only goods and services but also investment flows. A smaller trade deficit usually means that U.S. companies are producing more to meet domestic and overseas demand.

    Goods exports rose 1.9 percent to $405.4 billion, driven by higher overseas sales of petroleum and agricultural products.

    Americans received $206.1 billion in overseas income, mostly from investments, a 4.3 percent increase from the previous quarter. Payments to overseas owners of U.S. assets rose 2.4 percent to $137.8 billion. That helped push the U.S. income surplus to $64.4 billion.

    As a percentage of the U.S. economy, the current account deficit declined to 1.9 percent, the lowest since the third quarter of 1997.

    Two trends have helped narrow the gap in the past several years. The U.S. has benefited from an oil and gas boom because new drilling technologies have made it feasible to drill in states such as North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

    That has pushed down the trade deficit by boosting petroleum exports and lowering oil imports. The deficit in goods and services trade fell to a four-year low in November. It has widened slightly since then.

    Secondly, low U.S. interest rates have reduced the payments foreigners have received on their holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and other investments. Meanwhile, the payments that Americans receive on overseas investments have risen, boosting the nation’s investment surplus.

    The monthly trade deficit, which covers merchandise and services, widened a bit in January, as Americans imported more food, machinery and petroleum.

    The economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual pace in the final three months of last year, down from a healthy 4.1 percent rate in the July-September quarter.

    Growth will likely weaken in the current January-March quarter, to about 2 percent, but most economists expect it will then pick up to a 3 percent pace for the rest of the year.

  14. CR says:

    March 19, 2014

    Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on U.S. Admittance as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Candidate Country

    We are pleased that today the International Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) accepted the U.S. Candidacy Application at their Board Meeting in Oslo, Norway.

    Two years ago, at the launch of the Open Government Partnership, President Obama announced the U.S. commitment to implement EITI, an international standard aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the payments that companies make and the revenues governments receive for their natural resources such as oil, gas, and mining.

    The United States is first G-8 country to achieve candidate status and become an EITI implementing country, joining a group of 41 countries around the world that are working actively to improve the management of their oil, gas, and mining sectors.

    As an EITI Candidate Country, the United States, through the Department of the Interior, will continue its work toward increasing revenue transparency and accountability in relevant industry sectors, ensuring that American taxpayers receive every dollar due for the extraction of the nation’s natural resources, and making the U.S. government more open and more accountable to the American people.

  15. CR says:

    2:25 PM ET
    President Obama Hosts a Screening of the Film Cesar Chavez
    The White House

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      March 19, 2014

      Remarks by the President at Screening of “Cesar Chavez: An American Hero”

      South Court Auditorium

      2:38 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Welcome to the White House. We are here to celebrate the life of an American hero. Cesar Chavez was a man who devoted this brief time that we have on Earth to making sure that this country lived up to some of its lofty ideals, the words of our founding, the idea that all of us are created equal — a man who organized others to widen the circle of opportunity not just for the people he knew, but for future generations.

      And some of those future generations are here today. Cesar’s son, Paul, is here. (Applause.) There he is. I was looking for him. Some of his children — some of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are here. I did not have the honor of knowing Mr. Chavez, but I’d imagine that he’d be pretty proud to know that his granddaughter works in the White House. (Applause.) And not only does she know how to deliver an outstanding introduction — (laughter) — but she also does just an extraordinary job carrying on his work organizing people, but now all across the country, to engage on issues that are of importance to all Americans. And Julie just does an extraordinary job. We’re so proud of her. So, thank you, Julie, for the great introduction. (Applause.)

      A couple of other acknowledgements — I want to acknowledge an outstanding Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. (Applause.) The great Dolores Huerta, our dear friend who co-founded the United Farm Workers along with Cesar. (Applause.) Rosario told me she was playing Dolores, and I thought I can see that — there’s the same fire. I did have to say Rosario is a little taller. Just a little bit. (Laughter.)
      I want to thank the UFW’s current president, Arturo Rodriguez, a great friend of ours. Thank you. (Applause.) And I want to thank Diego Luna and the entire cast of “Cesar Chavez.” (Applause.) I told him I loved “Y Tu Mamá, También.” But we can’t screen that at the White House. (Laughter.) It’s a great movie, but this is a little more family-friendly here. (Laughter.)

      This movie, this film tells the story of a man guided by an enormous faith — faith in a righteous cause and a loving God, and the dignity of every human being. And it reminds us how throughout our history that faith has been tested, and that it falls to ordinary Americans, ordinary people, to fight and restore that faith.

      Cesar himself said that he spent his first 20 years working as an organizer without a single major victory. But he never gave up. He kept on going, and the world is a better place because he did. And that’s one of the great lessons of his life. You don’t give up the fight no matter how long it takes. No matter how long the odds, you keep going, fueled by a simple creed — sí, se puede.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/19/remarks-president-screening-cesar-chavez-american-hero

  16. CR says:

    3:05 PM ET
    President Obama is interviewed by local news anchors participating in “Live from the White House”
    The Diplomatic Room

  17. CR says:

    5:15 PM ET
    White House Climate Data Initiative Launch
    The White House

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      White House Climate Data Initiative Launch

      Published on Mar 20, 2014

      The White House, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration highlight the Administration’s commitment to empowering America’s communities with the information they need to prepare for the impacts of climate change, including new announcements on using data-driven technologies and open government data to strengthen our Nation’s ability to prepare for the effects of climate change today and in the future. March 19, 2014

    • CR says:

      March 19, 2014

      FACT SHEET: The President’s Climate Data Initiative: Empowering America’s Communities to Prepare for the Effects of Climate Change

      “Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.”– President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 28, 2014

      Last June, President Obama launched a Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare communities for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address this global challenge. The plan recognizes that even as we act to curb the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, we must also prepare our citizens and communities for the climate impacts that are already underway across the country.

      Delivering on a commitment in the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Obama Administration is today launching the Climate Data Initiative—a broad effort to leverage the Federal Government’s extensive, freely-available climate-relevant data resources to stimulate innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in support of national climate-change preparedness.

      President Obama is committed to ensuring that communities across America have access to the information and tools they need to protect themselves from harm today and potential damage in the future. This means connecting regional and city planners, resource managers, farmers, hospitals, and businesses with data-driven tools to help them better understand, manage, and prepare for the real-world impacts associated with climate change. Maps of future sea-level rise, for instance, can help builders decide where to break ground out of harm’s way, while other online tools can help water utility operators identify potential threats to the local water supply.

      Insights gathered from data can help communities and businesses better understand and manage the risks associated with climate change. However, taking data about climate that is collected by satellites and scientific equipment and turning it into easy-to-use information and tools takes analysis, innovation, and cutting-edge technology expertise.

      Through the Climate Data Initiative, the Obama Administration is today issuing a call to America’s top private-sector innovators to leverage open government data resources and other datasets to build tools that will make America’s communities more resilient to climate change and to forge cross-sector partnerships to make those tools as useful as possible. In response to this call to action, today’s launch includes a number of commitments by Federal agencies and private-sector partners:

      Administration Commitments:

      The Climate Data Initiative builds on two significant Administration commitments: (1) to strengthen America’s resilience to climate change, and (2) to make government-held data more accessible to the public, entrepreneurs, researchers, and others as fuel for innovation and economic growth. New steps by the Administration include:

      * Launch of climate.data.gov.
      * Launch of NASA and NOAA Innovation Challenge on Coastal Vulnerability and Preparedness.
      * Release of New Infrastructure and Geographic Map Data Relevant to Climate-Preparedness
      * NOAA Request for Information on Increasing Access to Environmental Data
      * Support for Climate Data & Tools in the President’s Budget
      * Expanding Stakeholder Outreach & Engagement

      Private Sector Commitments

      * Esri: Providing Communities with Map-Based Planning Tools and Collaboration Platforms
      * Intel Corporation: Fostering Regional Partnerships and Hosting Hackathons to Boost the Development of Climate Resilience Tools
      * Google: Providing Vast Cloud Computing Resources to Spur Creation of High-Resolution Drought and Flood Mapping, Apps, and Tools for Climate Risk Resilience
      * CartoDB: Announcing New Grants Program to Support Creation of Data-Driven Tools
      * Climate Central: Releasing New Web Tools to Assess Local-Scale Sea Level Rise
      * Microsoft Research: Providing Climate Scientists with New Tools and Computing Resources
      * Circle of Blue and Qlik: Developing New Tools and Visualizations to Better Understand Climate Impacts
      * 100 Resilient Cities, an effort Launched by the Rockefeller Foundation: Supplying Data on Local Demand and Market Opportunities for Resilience Tools
      * Code for Philly: Using City Buses to Help Monitor Local Climate Change-Related Pollution
      * The World Bank: Launching New Initiative for Global Use of Open Data for Climate and Disaster Resilience
      * Antioch University New England: Creating New Academic Center for Climate Preparedness and Resilience
      * MIT Climate CoLab: Crowdsourcing Solutions to Global Climate Change Preparedness
      * EcoHack: Launching New Hackahton Climate Data Track.
      * Alliance for Water Efficiency

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/19/fact-sheet-president-s-climate-data-initiative-empowering-america-s-comm

  18. CR says:

    *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” First Lady Michelle Obama Travels To China″

    ********************

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