tv American Perspectives CSPAN April 16, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
judges and other very good idea. in the district case, put the patent on the internet, so they did a diagram. anyone in the world, including the judges could press a button and you would actually see how this thing worked in traffic. they are using these different methods. they know it is important to educate us and they have other methods to try to get us up to speed. >> there are highly skilled attorneys who spent years on a case and they have a short time to give the argument. there has to the criminal law for generalists. we generalists in a specialized world. we are educated by the priests and by counsel.
-- by the briefs and by the council. >> justice thomas was quoted on the blogs. he said that you can serve on the supreme court. he never answered the part about being born in puerto r ico. that does bring up an interesting question. on a question like that, do you first have to elect me as president and in the case comes up? where can someone bring up the case? my understanding is the person has to be agreed first.
is it when i declare my candidacy or do i have to be elected first? >> why would anyone be aggrieved if you were running for president? would they not be pleased? [laughter] >> i think some folks on the right would be very unhappy or may be happy that i would be easy to defeat. i will just have to declare my candidacy. >> it says no person except a natural born citizen. >> i am a natural born citizen. i cannot believe we just had a supreme court decision. that is what i believe i am. it is interesting. those people in the back have a heck of a story. >> are you announcing he will
run in the primary against the president? >> not in 2012. >> some people think that means everyone except a naturalized citizen. others believe it has a broader or narrower meaning. there are some legal scholars that have told me that in the 1940's, the puerto rico situation was settled by putting "natural born" into the language. >> in past years, i continue to be interested in seeing the increase in the number of minorities selected for the supreme court. are there in new initiatives to reach out to law students and graduates? i know the supreme court justices lecture and go to commencements. do they use the opportunity to
invite young people into the law profession and to apply for court ships -- clerkships. >> we often go to the smaller law schools. i always encourage the students to apply for clerkships to the federal district courts and courts of appeal. you will really learn a lot in the trial court that you will never learn in the court of appeals. the district court has to do a lot of writing of opinions. you do everything a circuit court does plus learn to try a case. one of the best ways to train lawyers is a district clerkship.
i do encourage them. >> a lot of people want to apply for those. it is hard to say what is statistical and what is not. when i started, there were quite a few minority clerks. it was difficult of the beginning to find people to come in. then it got easier. the last two or three years, i have begun to wonder if there is a communications issue. i would go back to the trying to get the word out approach. >> i understood that harvard and yale where the schools where the courts were recruiting. has that changed? >> i do not think that is the
problem. i have a clerk from kansas two years ago. i taught in the smaller of school for decades. i taught my school. i know how hard they work and how committed they are to the law. the bigger schools like harvard, yale, nyu, stanford go out and are very good at recruiting minorities. your chances of getting a minority clerk of those schools is better than from some of the smaller schools. it is somewhat surprising. it is counter intuitive. >> last year, your web site was making a big splash. how has it been closed to mark what are the comments you are getting? is it being used?
is it positive? >> barre. 59 million hits a month -- of very. 59 million hits a month. it has a huge number of hits. it is unbelievable. they are looking at the opinions. >> after today, he will get puerto4 million from p.r rico alone. i want to take the opportunity to thank you. we always meet in a light- hearted fashion. we know the issues are serious. we asked serious questions and got serious answers. i do personally and i know i speak for everyone else in saying that we respect your
service to our country. we take it seriously but we still live in a place where we have was and respect the laws region where we have laws and respect the laws. we disagree but we would rather be here than anywhere else. that is important to all of us. thank you. >> thank you. that was well said. >> i agree with the comments from my colleague from new york. it is the genius of our country that we have the separation of powers and the constitution. it is remarkable what we have accomplished as a nation. on the subject of the phenomenon of social media, i was predisposed to asking the question, do you tweet?
i am not even sure if ethically you can. are the advances of social media changing how you and your work -- how you do your work? >> in an indirect sense, our work is sometimes reflected and discussed in the social media in at that different context. that is good. the law lives in the consciousness of the people. to the extent there is greater interest and awareness in public affairs through social media, i think that is all to the good. >> i have a tweeting thing. i was very interested in the iranian revolution. they just have the uprising a little over a year ago.
i sat there fascinated. you could look through the tweeting and see what is going on. you could see the violence. it was terrible. i wanted to keep track of that. i sat there totally fascinated. the only way to do was to go through the tweeter. from time to time, i get requests to follow me. i think it is very nice that someone would like to follow me. it is quite flattering. i wisely say no, it is not a good idea. the same is true of the facebook. it is probably not a good idea. the judges wear black robes so that they will resist the temptation to publicize themselves because we speak for the law and that is to be anonymous. not want people going
to the facebook page other than my children and they can find it anyway. >> we have young people in the room. perhaps they are law students. i make that assumption on knowing for sure. -- not knowing for sure. i have seen and talked to a lot of medical professionals that tell me a lot of potential physicians are not going into general practice but more specialization. what recommendations can you give to the prospective attorneys and law school -- in moscow that would be useful as they make career decisions? -- while they are in law school that would be useful as the maker decisions? >> it is becoming more specialized. whatever area of human affairs
from history, intellect you are interested in, there is a place for you in the lonaw. harvard now has 400 courses -- law and medicine, law and animal rights. whatever you are interested in, they can accommodate. that is part of the genius of the american system. for us, the law is not a threat. it is a promise. is an aspiration. even if you do not end up practicing, it can be rewarding. i miss the practice of law. i miss my clients. >> we are asked this question quite a lot.
we go to law schools and places. we have very similar answers. i usually tell the law students you are in a great profession. i am not telling them it is the only great profession. it is a great profession. you are in it because it requires you to have a head and a heart. if you do not pay attention and use your head, nobody will watch your services. do not going to this profession. if you only have a head and are just serving yourself, you should not be in the profession. the whole point of the profession is to use that had years to serve the people. i think they understand what i mean and i hope that will register and they will embody that. >> we can use some of that as members from time to time. >> i have a couple of questions related to politics and its
impact on the courts. i am sure those issues seat into discussions on the court. what do you think about our current confirmation system? some states do it differently. kansas does not allow the senate to approve of their state court appointments. they have a nominating committee made up of our members and members appointed by the governor who make three recommendations to the governor. the governor picked one of the three. the folks in the state argue that is superior to the federal system. what are your thoughts on the confirmation system we use? is it perfect? how would you do it differently? what do you think about the
election of judges in the lower courts at the state level? >> i am cautious about saying what i think it should be the system. states are laboratories for experimentation. we can see the folly of some ideas and the wisdom of others as it plays out. my home state of california has a judiciary bigger than the entire federal judiciary. if all of them had to be appointed, i think there would be systemic consequences that might be cause for serious concern. the framers said that judges are subject to confirmation by the senate. the senate is a political body. it acts in a political way. , discipline,
challenge is to follow the process and pursue the process in a way that respects the integrity and decency of the judicial candidate so that it is not a process that discourages eminent practitioners from seeking to be confirmed to the federal bench. that is for the senate in the congress to decide. it is not for us to dictate. we do have concerns about delays in the process. if you are a private practitioner in a small practice and waiting for confirmation, it can be very difficult wondering if you can take certain cases. i think it is for the congress
and the senate to determine how this process should be followed in a principled way so that they can judge the temperament and qualifications of the prospective judge without subconsciously asking how the judge would rule on certain issues. i think that is improper. you must ask for a judge of independence and the commitment to the law, an open mind, and the willingness to listen. >> it is a big topic. it is one that we have discussed quite a bit. your staff is welcome to go online and find some of the 92 speeches i have probably given on the topic. there is no perfect system. >> would you be willing to tweet about it?
>> i would if i would permit myself to respond to tweets. i worry about that. there is quite a lot about that on the website. a major area of concern is campaign contributions. the federal system, the elected officials. i remind people when i am asked this question about confirmation. i say that i was not a confirming person. i was a confirmed person. rson. not a nominating peace i was in nominated person. -- i was a nominated person. i say that asking the that is like asking for the recipe for
chicken a la king of the chicken. >> be used to be in my home town in the state of california that if the judge was challenged and he was a good judge, the bar would come to their defense. would defend them. now we have pointed and defense bars. if x runs against y, they must answer certain charges. the answer is money. that is the process. elections were part of the jacksonian democracy in the 1840's. judges have tremendous power in our society. there has to be some public political control at some point.
i think it is visionary to think we can eliminate elections. the object is to use elections to educate the electorate on what the arc was the qualifications should before a judge. this is a great chance to educate the public as to what judges do and the qualifications for a judge who brings dignity to the bench. we can use elections, intelligent commentary from civic groups and the press as to whether a campaign is dignified or not. we have to pay more attention. democracy is pretty new in historical terms, especially when we consider democracy with a mass media. we're not sure what the balance are to be. it is urgent for us to have a
public discourse that is more symbol, rational, moderate, more productive -- more civil and more productive. judicial elections would be a good place to start. i have not seen any i could hold up as a model. >> i have one additional thought. one of the tensions in this town is between the three branches of government. the phrase is thrown around about activist courts or judges. i know that is probably not thrown around with joy in the supreme court. as the tension continues between the intent of congress and what the court determines as the result, what sort of
resources do you rely on to divine congressional intent? what could congressmen and women do you feel the supreme court are taking contrary positions to make the intent clearer? what can they do to make sure the laws are written to the specificity or that the congressional record is such that it makes clear the position of the legislative branch? >> this is a question of considerable philosophic difficulty. it is topical but has been going on for about a hundred years. it is the obligation of the congress to tell the courts what it means and intense. when i was in private practice, i found sometimes in
negotiations of the contract you wanted to leave some things murky. most of us think precision in drafting means you have absolute specificity. sometimes you leave things a little murky. the congress cannot go back to revisit its legislation to clarify. often it is too murky because of the dynamics of the political process. that is the way the bill gets out. you do that have a risk that some court will not understand what your intent is or will misinterpret it. >> this produces argument with in the court. i look to the language. i look at the history. and with the tradition. i look at the president.
when that is not clear, i try to figure out the purpose. why is it in the statutes to allow the parents of a child to sue for a better education? do the costs include expert fees or not? i will look at purposes. i will want to read reports, debates, and what people have in mind. not everyone wants to do that. i find it in lightning. i think it is terribly important that the court's do it for the purposes of those who passed the bill in congress. i worked in congress for a while. if i had one single thing for you to do, it would be to not certain that your own process.
when i worked on staff, we would spend a lot of time in judiciary committee going through hearings and showing the drafts to everybody interested to get advice from them. we tried to get the words to mean what you want them to mean. that is a time-consuming process. when the words in the bill are unclear, i think it may not be as clear. it will be harder for me that if the process has been gone through with hearings from the debates, and discussions just like the 12th grade civics books say happens in congress. the more of that there is, the easier parts of jobs are. -- easier our jobs are. >> i want to thank you all for your service and for taking so much time out of your busy schedules to be here today. i never thought we would ask the
supreme court justice about their tweeting. it shows how times have changed. pardon me? you have to say yes that you follow justice breyer. i am certain all the people who would love to follow justice breyer will be asking him today based on your comment. seriously, you perform a very important function for this government and country. for that, i am very grateful. thank you. >> thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
mall. the ceremony was led by former nbc news anchor tom brokaw. other speakers include vice president biden and interior secretary salazar. >> welcome to the national mall. and the deputy director of the national park service. i am happy to welcome you to this special service. the park service's honored to have been entrusted with the care of the world war ii memorial that commemorates the service of our armed forces, the support of callus millions on the home front, and the ultimate sacrifice of americans during
>> thank you. please be seated. it is my privilege to introduce our master of ceremonies who is surprising the role he served in the world war -- when the world war ii memorial was dedicated. his award winning journalist and author who has helped show the light on the contributions of the greatest generation. please welcome mr. tom brokaw. [applause] >> thank you all very much. vice president, secretary, my great friend bob dole, distinguished guests, and all of you. it is so gratifying to come to washington and be at an event that is a unifying moment in our lives. there are no red or blue states here.
we all belong to what i call the army of american citizens. we are all here because we are here to pay all mosh -- homage to the greatest generation. like i said before, that is my story and i am sticking to it. we're also here to honor the great american who has spent his entire life giving back to this country. that is my friend, bob dole. [applause] when i got off the plane from new york this morning, there was a cloudburst. it was raining heavily. my driver said it would be an enormous storm. i told him not to worry about it because god would not dare to rain on bob dole's parade. he has that kind of influence.
we're also here to pay tribute to a time in american life when we were one as a clenched fist. we were with this to a generation whose early lives were formed by the great depression. their lives were about deprivation and sacrifice. there were mostly about common cause -- they were mostly about common cause. just as they were emerging from the darkness of the great depression, the commander in chief asked them to go thousands of miles away to fight the two greatest military machines ever assembled. they did that without hesitation. at home, farmers grow more food. people once with less factories worked overtime. we gave up on civilian vehicles so that we could turn out new armaments. that was so the country could save the world.
it was nothing less than that. at the end of the war, it would have been easy for those veterans to come home and said they had done their share. they did not. they did not put down their weapons and retreat to their communities and say it is up to someone else will. instead, they stepped forward every waking moment of their lives. no one represents that better than bob dole. [applause] now it is my pleasure to introduce a man with whom i have had conversations about the complete participation in world war ii. a couple of years ago, documentaries were done that did not acknowledge as completely as they might have the role of latinos and hispanics in world
war ii. i was speaking with senator salazar about that. he said his family had been here since the 1500's. he said he goes into church cemeteries in the southwest and looks for the names of men primarily born in 1920. in served their country in world war -- who then served their country in world war ii. i then look at the newspaper for the people we lost in afghanistan. once again, it was a latino marine whose home is in puerto rico. is are unifying events as we remember wars past and remember the we're not engaged in two of the longest wars in american history. i am very pleased to introduce to you a man who has always been
enlisted in the service of this country as a citizen, a public servant, and secretary of the interior, our host secretary ken salazar. [applause] >> thank you for that wonderful introduction. on behalf of president barack obama and vice president joe biden, i want to welcome all of you here to the national mall as we onagers senator bob dole for his heroic service to our nation and our military families. i welcome all of you as distinguished guests who have come here to honor and senator dole. that includes former members of the cabinet, former members of the senate, and the united states house of representatives. all of you have been a part of
the wind beneath the wings of bob dole. it is an honor to see so many of you from the senate and house here with the vice-president and senator dole. here in the mall, our history is etched in the stones of our monuments and memorials. it is an open book for our children and grandchildren to share in our past, here about our struggles, and admirine our heroes. it is the front yard of america. we're joined by members of both parties and public servants who have dedicated their lives to our nation. senator dole brought people together. he was a statesman, a hero. he is a hero. he is an unwavering advocate for the men and women in our military. it is because of his singular leadership that this world war ii memorial stands here today. it is why millions of american veterans have better health care, better benefits, and more
just treatment here at home. almost teed of years ago, my personal hero and mentor daniel in a oyae asked that i create this memorial for senator dole. he said as part of the rich history, my job was to recognize bob dole for his work of the world war ii memorial. thank you, daniel. [applause] those of us who are always homesick for the senate floor like the vice president and myself will often go on the floor. i remember senator pat roberts taking me aside and saying we had to get this done for bob dole. he said that he and danny would get it done through legislation. thank you for your leadership on this as well.
[applause] today is are rare and special occasion -- is a rare and special occasion. in honoring senator dole, we also recommit ourselves to remembering and celebrating the greatest generation. in honoring senator dole, we honor all the members of that generation. people like my father and mother who were soldiers in the work, those who left their lives on the soil of italy where they were both wounded. as we honor them, we honor all of the 16 million men and women who answered the call of service in world war ii. more than 400,000 died. millions more supported the effort back home. we remember and honor all of them today. we cherish their legacy.
we think one of their greatest heroes, bob dole, for what he has done for all of us. welcome, everyone, to this event. [applause] >> when i began to write "the greatest generation,"i immediately thought of two people, bob dole and senator inoyae. bob dole returned injured. he was next to a japanese american citizen from hawaii who had lost his arm in battle. they had never met before. the third veteran was a man from michigan from a family of wealth and political influence. these three veterans would talk
late into the night about what they would do with their lives next. they decided they would return to their home states and devote much of their life to public service. they had a reunion in the united states senate. it was bob dole, and daniel inouye, and the late phil hart. i thought they really is synthesized why we pay tribute to this generation and how much we owe the mall. ladies and gentlemen, senator dan inouye. [applause]
>> mr. vice-president, elizabeth and bob dole, and my fellow veterans, ladies and gentlemen, 66 years ago on april 14, 1945, a young platoon leader, a lieutenant was leading his platoon on a mountaintop in northern italy. suddenly at the mountain top became a major target of an artillery barrage. the blow tune later. the platoon leader was filled with shrapnel. then he lost his arm. he kept on fighting. he is still keeping up that fight. that is bob dole. [applause]
a week later on a mountain about a mile away from his, i got my bullet. we ended up in battle creek, mich., in the hospital. somehow we gravitated to each other. when i asked him his plans, without hesitation he said that he would go to the state legislature. he said the first opening in congress, that is where i will be. i said that was a good idea. [laughter] i said that i would try the same. i got here in 1959. and looked around. -- i looked around.
i said to bob, i am here. where are you? i have been fortunate. he has been my buddy. he never gives up. he was a tiger in battle creek. the physicians or wanted to cut his arm off because it was useless. he said that he came here with two arms, two lakes, two vice -- two legs and eyes and was leaving the same way. i told elizabeth that he would all of us -- he would outlive us because he is persistent. he never gives up. this monument in front of you would not be here if it were not for bob dole. believe me. there were hundreds of different
groups having their own ideas as to what should be done. there were hundreds of people against it going to court, fighting it. one man got all of us together, all the disparate groups. he got the money raised. here we are today. he went to court. he did everything else. although we should not be recognized individually, i felt one man, thist would not have happened. we insisted on having bob dole recognized for his work. i am glad we're here today to do exactly that. thank you very much. [applause]
>> senator roberts of kansas and i have not talked about this. i think i can correctly guessed that we have had shared experiences. we were both born before the war broke out. he was born in 1936. i was born in 1940. my entire life has been imprinted by the earliest memories i have of the war. i lived on an army base. everybody was going to war coming home from war. they were storing ammunition there. it was in the southern corner of south dakota. i thought the war would go on forever. when it ended and we began a new life in this country in the late 1940's and 1950's, i was surrounded by veterans of the work -- the greatest generation -- who never talked about their experiences.
they were my coaches, sunday school teachers, the wives of the most heroic figures in our community. they imparted to us by use that i hope for still with us today. i am confident that is the case of our next speaker, the distinguished senator from the great state of kansas, senator pat roberts. [applause] for the kind introduction and the point remarks -- poignant remarks. as i was listening to your voice, i wondered if you have ever considered a career in broadcasting. [laughter]
the fact that i was born in 1936 was classified until you let that out. [laughter] what a great reunion. this is the dole family reunion. bob, we have not had so much fun since we were campaigning in russell at the dairy queen. it is an honor and privilege for me to represent bob dole's homes state of kansas as we dedicate a most fitting plaque recognizing his tireless support for the veterans. the world war ii memorial would not exist if not for senator bob dole. the instructions were clear about three minutes.
i wonder about that with the vice president. he was writing his speech when we came in. three minutes and no cornball humor. that is just as well. bob gets the last word. to some of his legislative record is like summing up american history since 1865 in three minutes. his legislative achievements are legion. he did so much more as senate leader. he did others the credit for it. as a marine, i take orders. hang on. most here know or have a friend in hospice care. bob dole and the hospice care arct. every farmer and rancher in kansas knows that bob wrote point on every farm bill that
came down the trail. emergency relief, world development -- rural development, and small town america. social security, it could be done. millions of disabled americans live better lives because of the americans with disability act of 1990. millions more are partners in government because of the voting rights act of 1965. 1983, the martin luther king holiday bill. what jumpstart of the multibillion-dollar biotechnology industry in the united states? the little known dole act of 1980. millions of disadvantaged and single parents do not have to worry about their kids facing malnutrition and hunger today. food stamps, school lunches -- dole and mcgovern. , theelecom bill 19
recovery package, stalwart for our troops every year. i think you get it. the truth is his fingerprints have been on almost every piece of legislation prior to and during his years of leadership either in support, changing it for the better, or giving it a proper burial. the man was and is amazing. his record of public service, the wounded warriors programs, all of it. the world war ii memorial has become a wonderfully unique place, a mecca not expected or predicted for the veterans who preserved our freedoms. they come by the thousands. some walk slowly and some not at
all. they come to recollect, cry tears, laugh, pray, and meet their brothers in a once-in-a- lifetime remember this. it touches your heart. i know. i have taken part in these reunions with others. i try to steal them way to the iwo jima memorial. it is a marine thing. collections are now being recorded for high-school students for generations to come. americans across the country would like to see us face up to the challenge is threatening our future and get the job done. you have shown that can be done.
we all come to washington to make a difference. senator bob dole did just that. and with this memorial, he did so much more. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much for those very appropriate remarks. i could not help but think as you were reciting the extraordinary list of accomplishments initiated by senator bob dole but somehow he managed to do that without the help of rachel maddow or bill o'reilly. [laughter] someone else who has served her country in many capacities is with us today as well. you know her as the two term secretary of health and human services, now the president of the university of miami.
i have been impressed by a little known fact of her early life. it probably prepared her for the rigors of washington. donna shalala played on a girl'' managed byam george steinbrenner. [applause] >> thank you. i was taller before i came to washington. let me start by acknowledging my co-conspirator, bob dole's chief of staff. it was a great honor to work with senator dole to help america's wounded warriors. to understand bob dole, you need
to walk through veterans hospitals and military hospitals and stand outside this memorial as he takes people on tours. you need to know how he touched so many americans and how he kept his commitment. here is the leader of intelligence, decency, and courage. every generation of my family has served in america's military. my earliest memories were the two gold stars in the window of my grandmother's house. they remained there until she died 30 years after the end of world war ii. my grandmother wanted everyone to know and remember the old and the sacrifice of her father, of her two sons, edward and francis. what is remarkable about my friend senator dole is not that he never forgot the sacrifice of his generation but that he never
let us forget the sacrifices of later generations. he spent his career working to define the role of government to make every succeeding generation the greatest generation. he believes in the kind of politics "where conviction coexist with civility and the clash of ideas is never confused with holy war." we honor the son of kansas today because he did not move on. he did not forget the men and women who served and sacrificed as he continued to serve and sacrifice. for all of that and more, he will always be my leader. thank you, senator dole. [applause] >> continuing in a bipartisan
spirit, another man who has given so much of his life to public service lives next door in the state of idaho. that is former secretary of the interior, former senator from the state of idaho, the honorable dirk kempthorne. [applause] >> tom brokaw, think you for all that you do. -- thank-you for all you do. my dear and honored friends and all citizens of this great republic, this is a magnificent memorial dedicated to those who sacrificed so that we would be the republic that we are today.
it seems so right and appropriate that this great memorial be here. but great things do not just happen. great people make them happen. bob dole made this happen. recently i spoke to two former united states senators that i have the honor of serving with, senator john warner and senator steve symms. they told me about a trip to with bob dole to the mountains of italy in more than four decades after the battle raged there. the citizens of the community young and the citizens of the community went out into the streets to embrace a returning hero, bob dole.
he went to where he fought, was wounded, and where emetic, a fellow soldier, saved his life. his life came dangerously close to being lost because of his sacrifice for freedom. the senator told me it was one of the most vivid and emotional events of his life. one he will never forget. nor will america ever forget bob dole. at arlington cemetery, some 5000 people gathered. these included veterans, families, and fellow citizens. members of the cabinet like myself were seated, waiting for the president of the united states, george w. bush, to be
escorted in. unaccompanied, unannounced, bob dole quietly entered the amphitheater and moved to his seat. one by one, a citizens began to see the figure of bob dole, they began to individually applaud. the plot -- the applause grew to a universal standing and sustained ovation. you see, america recognizes a hero. america respects a hero. america reveres a hero. america honored here that day, bob dole. so it is altogether fitting that today we recognize and respect and revere an american hero who is also the hero of this
monument having been built. bob doll's name will be permanently etched into this magnificent monument, as it will be permanently etched into the hearts of his fellow patriots because that is where he will reside. god bless you, bob dole, for all that you have done for freedom and for this republic, the united states of america. [applause] >> nothing stops bob dole, and nothing would stop this celebration. this event would not have been made possible if there were not for certain people from the national trust and the national parks service and all of our
park rangers. please give them a round of applause. [applause] i would like to call senator in ua -- inyue to my right. you will help with the unveiling. this was not part of the script, but it makes sense. all of you cannot see this, because we had to put this together from 7:00 last night until this morning. otherwise, it would have been lifted to a place very high, but after the ceremony, we would like to invite you to see the
plaque. it will be located at the world war ii memorial itself. it is a dedication and recognition of senator dole and his contribution. we are standing here on hallowed ground for our nation. if you look to the east, you see our nation's capital, where so many of you have served. if you see behind us, there is the lincoln memorial. to the south, the jefferson memorial. it to the north, the white house. this plaque will put bob dole in the wright place in history. he will live forever, in our view. he has a long life ahead of him. the installation of this plaque is very important to all of us who worked so hard. the vice president, joined by senator roberts -- if bob dole
>> ladies and gentlemen, we put this event together. that is the plaque over there. it is a great black that will go with the world war ii memorial. the vice president is always at his best helping us when we miss our cues here. ladies and gentlemen, we're absolutely inspired by people who served in that generation of world war ii people like senator dole. we are also so inspi fact have a vice president who has lived a life of sacrifice and courage. in his own life, he has overcome huge obstacles that very few people in this country would have overcome, and yet, he never
let those obstacles get in the way of serving the people of the united states. he was a very proud united states senator for several decades. now, ladies and gentlemen, we're honored to have with us the vice president of the united states and his wife, joe biden. [applause] >> thank you very much. mr. secretary, thank you. i noticed when you said, mr. secretary, that we missed the senate floor, everybody kind of grimaced. we actually do miss the senate floor, and i miss the days when some of my colleagues were sitting out here and i was serving on that floor. pat, i could see your face when
he was saying biden overcame a lot of obstacles. pat was saying, yes, being biden is a of an obstacle. i also want to say hello to donna, who served this country with great distinction. it is an honor for jill and need to be here today with two men in particular. from whom i can say without fear of contradiction i learned so very much over the 30 years or more i served with them. although bob would suggest i have not learned enough, but i am trying bob. yuan of the phrase -- you all know the phrase from that great inaugural speech, the torch has been passed to a new generation of americans, born in this
century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, and unwilling to permit the slow undoing of human rights to which this nation has always been committed. you heard those words hundreds and hundreds of times since 1961 in an inaugural address. during his inaugural address, president kennedy was not only describing himself. he was describing bob dole and others of you in this room who were so instrumental in shaping a generation that has, because of the great work of tom brokaw, now become referred to as the greatest generation. i believe my friend bob dole was one of the greatest of that generation. this memorial is a testament not
only to what bob was able to get built. this plaque is a testament to all that bob and his generation accomplished. defeating tyranny abroad. securing us at home. sowing the seeds of freedom throughout the entire world. you all know, because your friends of bob, you all know what to jail and i know -- what jill and i know, that involves valor in italy was matched by valor in italy's was matched by his courage in the legislature. i was kidding, bob, when as pat listed your accomplishments i leaned over and said, you have a tough time today.
you never let anything stand in your way of helping people, giving them a second chance, and particularly helping your beloved veterans. bob spent his entire career fighting to improve the lives of his fellow veterans, to guarantee that they were accorded respect and dignity. dignity that they had earned, not deserved, that they had earned. bob dole, in my 30 some years of working with him, was all about preserving the other man or woman's dignity. i learned from bob dole, going all the way back to 1972, as a 29-year-old kid, when i got to the senate and had to wait to be sworn in, i learned that although we have multiple obligations as a nation, we only have one truly sacred
obligation. with numerous obligations, but one sacred obligation. it is to prepare those whom we sent into harm's way and care for them and their families when they return. it is the premier obligation. it is the first among our nation's obligations. ladies and gentlemen, no one has been more committed to fulfilling that obligation than bob dole. no one, no one in the 38 years i have served in this town has been more committed. so, it seems to me it is appropriate that the black bear bob's name -- plaque bair bob's name.bob's what he represented to an entire
generation was not to just be brave, but also noble. long afterwards come to an end, long after the welcoming home parades have ended, long after the streets are renamed in the monuments are built, our nation's obligation to those who sacrificed so much, who endure, must endure, and must be recognized by all americans. i am absolutely confident that deeds in the deeds of his generation will endure. because they are all about what all that generation stood for. every time we reach out to save the mother and a child how huddling in the mountains of sarajevo, every time a young
woman leaves the navy and is able to go from a modest background to receiving education at one of our great institutions, every time a veteran eds to a va hospital in gets the care they -- heads to a va hospital in gets the care they deserve, every time that happens, we will remember bob dole. bob, my generation and every generation from this point on owes you and your generation a debt of gratitude, one that can never be repaid. i remember being with bob on the 50th anniversary of d-day, along with others in this room. i remember among the various things, i remember that a standing at that service, and
after the speeches were finished, looking out at literally hundreds upon hundreds of world war ii veterans walking along the beach, not saying a single word. not a single word. i remember going up to the cemetery overlooking the ocean, and it is so perfectly manicured. i remember kneeling down in front of a small heads down -- headstone, and there were three names, three names in a row, the same last name. it turned out it was a father and two sons. as i was walking down looking at i could hear a man that sounded like my father saying, "attention." he was being wheeled across the
grass in a wheelchair by his wife. i walked up to him and i said, "thank you, sir. thank you. we owe you so very much." he saluted me, and i saluted him back and said i should be saluting you. he reached back and padded his wife's hand and said, a salute mary. mary is the reason we won. she was building aircraft that helped us be here. talk about an effort where all were in it. i remember coming back to the floor and bob and others began
in morning business to reminisce a bit. i stood up and said something which, unfortunately, i say things i believe and sometimes i should not say them. i stood up and said what an honor it was to be with you all, but in view. in view. my generation -- and view -- en vy you. my generation, the vietnam generation envies you, because as daunting as your task was, not a single man or woman got off that craft without knowing and you were doing theire, that what you were doing would determine the fate of your wife, your children, and your friends
for a generation. this generation is amazing. it is amazing what they've done. i conclude by saying that the reason i love bob dole is bob dole understands there is still a generation making the same sacrifices. only this time, only 1% of the entire population is making the sacrifice. over 1 million women and men, tens of thousands killed, wars that have lasted longer than any war in american history, deployments, one, two, three, five, seven times. and bob dole, when i went to visit him at the hospital, was a walter reed talking about those kids, telling me they are the greatest warriors this nation has ever produced. this is a man who knows what his
>> it goes without saying that when you are in washington or anywhere in this country and you say bob dole, you know that is a distinguished public servant who has been serving in the highest echelons of this country both in government and in the nonprofit. ladies and gentlemen, the woman who knows more about bob dole than the rest of us all do, liddy dole. -- elizabeth dole. [applause] >> mr. vice president, you and mrs. biden certainly onerous today with your presence. -- honor us today with your
presence. we deeply appreciate the commitment to america's veterans that you have exhibited throughout your remarkable public service career. mrs. biden, we're so grateful that you and our first lady are doing such tremendous work for our military families. thank you very much. [applause] power banks to you, tom brokaw. what a marvelous -- our thanks to you, tom brokaw. what a marvelous job you have done as a master of ceremonies. and for all you have done to shine a light on the greatest generation. thank you all for your beautiful tribute to my husband and for all that you did to make this day possible. god bless each of you for what
you have done. now, ladies and gentlemen, when secretary salazar asked me to introduce bob dole. i was tempted to talk about his many accomplishments and each of his remarkable qualities. i am resisting that temptation for two reasons. first, such an endeavor would keep us here until sunset. second, if i did so, i would only be repeating what you already know. you know the remarkable courage bob exhibited when he wore the uniform of our country, and the courage he has shown every day since his life was changed in the hills of italy in 1945, 66 years ago this thursday. you know that america's veterans could not have asked for more committed or more affective advocate -- effected advocate. you know that this plaque was richly deserved because the
memorial would not have become a reality without his leadership. you know the esteem with which he was held on both sides of the aisle, and that he was elected six times by senate republicans to serve as their leader, and the time after time, senate employees, cafeteria workers, capitol police, other capital workers, voted bob dole the nicest senator. his hand can be found in almost every major piece of legislation passed during his years on capitol hill. strong leaders not only need a good background, they need a good funny bone. he regards public service as a high and noble calling, and throughout his life and career he has steadfastly exhibited the qualities of honesty, integrity, modesty, decency, fairness, love of god, and love of country.
you know all that and more. but what you may not now, -- not know, is that the qualities bob dole exhibits and public are also the qualities he exhibits in private. you may not know of the many programs he has established since leaving the senate to deal with the problems of many people coping with disabilities including senior citizens with cancer. you may not know how many lives this private man has saved when he decided to talk publicly about his battle with prostate cancer. you may not know how many veterans with disabilities, young and old, this private man inspired when he shared the impact of his war experiences, finally shared those, in his book, "one soldier's story." you may not know the number of friends in need and strangers
who are hurting to whom he has given generously and an ominously -- and anonymously. you may not know of the 30 trusts he has set up for his family members. you may not know about the countless letters and phone calls his responded to from family members of veterans asking him to write or call a loved one in need of encouragement, or the fact that for decades he has quietly visited patients in veterans hospitals and veterans' homes all across america. you may not know about the hundreds of times he has welcomed, right here at the memorial, his fellow world war ii veterans traveling on honored flights, and the hours he has spent with them sharing stories and tears. he may not know that during a recent bout of medical challenges that would have defeated those half his age, he persevered without a moment of self pity, and without
complaint, just as he did when he returned home severely wounded after the war. indeed, whenever he could during his hospitalization, he would spend time talking with wounded warriors from iraq and afghanistan. i think these heroes inspire each other. in a none of the nearly 15 years after he left the senate -- you may not know that nearly 15 years after he left the senate, he is still thinking of ways and encouraging lawmakers to make america better. and you may not know just how much bob dole means to me. so, what do you say when you introduce the man who for 35 years has been your precious husband, your best friend, and your own personal rock of gibraltar? you say, i love you. i admire you. and i thank god every day for
came. well, i am very honored to be here, and i am speaking for all veterans not -- when i speak about the plaque and what it means to me. i share that view with millions of americans, millions of veterans. there are 25 million. i want to thank elisabeth, not just for saying such nice things about me after 35 years, but even more for believing them. [laughter] [applause] what i would like to do as i look around the audience, there are not many people i do not know in this room.
i picked up ed yesterday from fort hays in kansas state college. i'm glad you're here. there are no refunds, so. [laughter] but if i introduced everyone, that would even push senatorial standards. i will just say a special word of gratitude to tom brokaw. when i called his office, his secretary said -- i think you were overseas somewhere. saudi arabia or some foreign place. i did not expect tom brokaw to say yes. well, i did kind of think he might because we're good friends. and within three days or four days i had a positive answer, which made me feel like this event was going to be a great success, because when tom brokaw is bmc, about half of you here -- is the mc, i know about half
of you are here to see tom brokaw. [laughter] he has done as much -- for his generation to tell the story about our generation as anybody i know. i doubt that the memorial would be here if they were not for all of tom brokaw's influence in making world war ii veterans realize that they did provide service and make great sacrifice. the kind of brought everybody together. i want to thank my cochair who could not be here today, but without whose dedication this memorial would probably not be finished. it would be started, but not finished. i want to thank kenneth salazar, pat roberts, and everyone who
joined forces to make this day possible. i know there are others who participated. i was a walter reed hospital for 11 months last year, and i sort of missed all the action about who was working on this. if i miss anybody, i apologize. i want to recognize the more recent colleague, a distinguished public servant with a passionate commitment to veterans. we cochaired a commission on veteran care. i cannot tell you -- well, i cannot tell all of you what a worker she is. there is never a dull moment when you work with donna. when you work for donna. i got that wrong. [laughter]
but i want to most of all thank the citizen soldiers, the farmers, factory workers, recent immigrants as the verse as america itself, for all you did to preserve civilization when it was most in danger. in my lifetime, i have seen walls go up and walls come down. i have seen planes flown into buildings and organizers confuse hatred and murder with martyrdom. but that is not all i have witnessed. for mine is a generation that banished polio and jim crow, invented the computer and left footprints on the surface of the man. i will not describe myself as the most optimistic man in
america. but how could you lived through what i haven't be anything else? 66 years have passed since franklin roosevelts heart gave out. that morning, he put the finishing touches on a speech to be delivered two days later. it said, more than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars, yes, an end to the brutal, in human, and thoughtfully in practical method of settling differences between governments. for some, this might appear visionary, but not to the leader whose last words were appropriately words of encouragement. the only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.
let us move forward with strong and active faith. like president roosevelt, we can all pray for world without war. no monuments in the meantime, and we cannot thank god for those quality of courage and character, service and sacrifice that protect our freedom and dispel our doubts. let others imagine the worst. i am still the most optimistic man in america. thank you. [applause]
help. we talked about who could go see. he went to see a very wealthy hollywood mogul who had a lot more money than he deserved, quite honestly. bob asked for his help. the hollywood mogul, as only a hollywood mogul could, turned him down and said, i had other priorities. bob turned to him and said, when i was 22, i had other priorities, but i went to war. [applause] i just asked the vice president whether mrs. biden was still here. she has had to leave to go back to the white house to prepare for a ceremony that will take place shortly as part of the national campaign to help the military families of those who are in uniform now. i think that might be the appropriate note on which to end. as we gather here to remember the greatest generation and the
sacrifices they made for all of us, and realize how we are the beneficiaries, there are young men and women in uniform at this hour locking in loading weapons and going on missions in afghanistan and iraq. i just got back from my ninth trip to iraq. we still have 45,000 people they're in harm's way, and there are families here now -- in contrast to what we were going through in world war ii, in which we were all aware of the people making sacrifices -- these families feel like they are living in their own kind of wars and. a minneapolis mother said, you know that you're the mother of a service man in a rack so that -- servicemen in iraq when you go home and pull the blinds across the windows so that you do not see the car with a military
chaplain driving down the street. i hope we will all remember that we have another generation serving us right now in distant lands. now, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the united states senate chaplain who will offer the benediction. gary black. -- barry black. >> let us pray. gracious god, you have blessed us beyond our deserving, making our nation and a land of liberty. you are the giver of every good and perfect gift. lord, we thank you for the exquisite gift of bob dole, for his patriotism, passion, optimism and perseverance.
help us to learn from this noble life, to #our days so that we number ourearts -- day so that we may have parts of wisdom. give us the grace to think not of what we can get, but of what we can give with a new purpose that will please you. bless senator dole and his beloved elisabeth in all of their tomorrows, sustaining them with your presence in their going out and coming in, they're rising up and lying down, their
moments of pleasure and sorrow, as their labor and leisure, until they cross the bar and there they will see you, and their pilot, face to face, and hear from your lips the precious words, well done. good and faithful servants, you have been faithful over a few things. i will make you ruler over many things. enter now, into the joys of your lord. we pray this prayer in the name of him who has been our help in ages past and our hope for years to come. on and. -- a-men.
>> ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. that concludes the ceremony. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> next, the unveiling of a new white house initiative supporting service members and their families. after that, a discussion on programs available for military families. then, another chance to see the ceremony honoring senator bob dole. on "newsmakers," california congressman and chairman of the
armed services committee discusses the military budget, the u.s. role in libya, iraq and afghanistan, and pending changes in defense department leadership and the national security team. that is sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> to be a parent means that you are training the people who cannot live without you to live without you. >> the college admissions process, sats, application forms. he was not prepared. >> nothing like that happened to me when i was thinking about college in the mid-1970s. it was starting to dawn on me that there was a very much different process from what it was. >> find out how this that catches up sunday night on "q&a ." you can now as though -- you can
also download the podcast. >> president obama and vice president biden joined the first lady and jill biden on thursday for the launch of a new initiative to support u.s. service members and their families. it aims to educate citizens and encourage businesses and communities to support military families. the event took place in the east room of the white house and is just under one hour. [applause] >> i became a volunteer when my son jeff deployed to the middle east. my son jason deployed the
following year. as more and more families face deployment, we wanted to do more. in 2007, my friend and i formed delaware boots on the ground, a nonprofit organization that supports members of the military, their families and veterans. especially in times of separation or need, with the help and expertise of local businesses and community groups. we have done stockings for soldiers, a fixed broken air conditioners, and friend baby showers. whatever needs to be done, -- for around baby showers. whatever needs to be done, we have found a way to do it. jill biden is one of our
volunteers. we of help hundreds of families in countless ways. when delaware boots on the ground was born around the breakfast table, i never imagined i would be at the white house with president obama telling you all about it. i never dreamed our story could capture the interest of the entire nation. we are simply military families helping military families, but today, we are telling their story, and through the hard work of first lady michelle obama and dr. jill biden, hundreds more stories like ours are being lifted up so that everyone understands just how easy it is to support our military families and just how much that support means to the military community. so, i want to thank you those
for all you do on behalf of our military families. and now, it is my honor to introduce someone who has always been committed to the military. he has been at national guard events for over 30 years, and now visits with members of our military across the country and across the world. today, i have the honor as a military spouse and a military mom to introduce my friend, vice president joe biden. [applause] >> welcome to the white house.
surely, you're getting to be an old pro. when shirley and jill made their first television appearance a while ago for a boots on the ground event, they were both scared to death. now i am scared to follow them. ladies and gentlemen, jill and i just returned from a ceremony that honored bob dole for his heroic service and unparalleled devotion to supporting veterans in this country. you know, he always knew and taught me what many of us have come to learned, that we have many obligations in this country, but we only have one truly sacred obligation. that is to prepare those who we
send it to war with all that they need, and take care of those who return from war and their families with all they deserve. although his generation is known as the greatest generation, this generation of warriors, as the chairman of the joint chiefs can tell you, this generation of warriors may be among the most devoted because of the long, long, long periods of service that they have had to endure. they have seen multiple deployments. they have seen and participated in two wars that have extended almost a decade. in the process, we have lost over -- exactly come up as of an hour ago, 5957 fallen angels, 43,006 have been wounded.
and there is still more of a job to be done. there are still more warriors deployed. i do not think there is ever been a time in american history when a generation of military families has had to endure for as long and as much as this generation of american families of service people. as i said, we only have one truly sacred obligation. the poet john milton said of all the blue star moms, dads, husbands, wives, he said, they also serve who only stand and wait. in this generation of military families, as i said earlier, you have stood a long time. some have waited multiple times.
i look at the men in uniform here, the men i most admire, and i may be mistaken, but i do not think there have been this many times when people have been in battle, seen bloody conflict, come home, and then sent back again. it is one thing to go to the first time, not knowing exactly what the horrors of war would be like, but to saddle up and go back again, and again, and again. i have been to iraq and afghanistan over 25 times. last time, i asked the guys, how many to ours? of the four in the cockpit, only one had served only two. two had served for, and this was the fifth deployment for the fourth.
this generation that michelle and jill are embarking on and bringing the rest of the country in awareness to, we owe them a lot. they have known the pain and anxiety that comes from when the external and internal bond of family is stretched across oceans and gulps of time. you know, your child, you miss their first step, the first smile. you missed birthdays, anniversaries that were celebrated on skype. we learned all about skype when our son was in a rack for a year. yet, the support here at home has never wavered. i say too that the families that you represent our as brave and heroic as the families -- as the
sons and daughters, husbands and wives that are there. as i said, jill and i know a little bit what it was like firsthand. our son the was in i iraq -- our son bo was in iraq for a year. we know what it means for people thousands of miles away to know that their families are cared for. that and next-door neighbor will give the jumpstart on that cold morning when they're trying to get their daughter or son to elementary school. they know that those little things are the things that make everyday work or not work. it matters. it matters because it is one less thing they have to worry about. all those who have served in the
military and served overseas know that i am not exaggerating when i say that. every single warrior i meet any place, and iraq, afghanistan, bosnia, kosovo, all they ask about is what it is like at home. can you give my wife a call? can you, pop and let him know it is ok? -- call my pop and let him know if is ok? all americans should know that one act of kindness given to a soldier reverberates across the water, over the mountains, through the desert, and into the heart of the warrior who is standing there alone, thinking as much about his family as his family is thinking about him or her. i promise you. i promise you, all of those who are listening on television or radio. it matters. it matters. jill always points out that only
1% of our nation is serving. over 1 million young men and women -- not so young anymore. i was recently asked -- recently having one of those impromptu meetings and i said, you are a great bunch of guys and general yelled, "john jones. saw you here last time. 61-years old." they're not all young. the fact is, only 1% of the families have served in those wars, yet 100% of american families have an obligation to commit to that 1%. just show one, one, one single
act of kindness to deployed veterans family. as jill has declared many times as the second lady, helping to muster the strength and to remind neighbors and everyone in america that you have a duty to fulfill that sacred obligation i mentioned. jonas how important it is for the troops and their families. -- jill knows. my wife feels it in her bones. it has become part of who she is. the stars are indelibly branded on her heart. our family and friends will tell you that it defines her. ladies and gentlemen, and i am honored to present the second lady of the united states, of blue star mom, my wife, jill
biden. [applause] >> good morning. i am jill biden, and i am a proud military mom. as my husband said, i am proud to be here at the white house today as my husband expresses his gratitude to everyone who serves on the military and their amazing families. you are all heroes. from the moms and dads to the grandparents who stepped in with much needed support, to the children who are strong and brave while moms and dads are a way. you go about your business everyday, lifting up your communities, volunteering at
your schools, lending a hand to europe neighbors. -- to your neighbors. into it was carrying a heavier burden than most folks imagine. as joe said, we have been a national guard family for the last 10 years. two and a half years ago, i stood in dover, delaware, watching as our son was deployed to iraq. i remember it like it was yesterday. but other military families, -- like other military families, and felt an intense mixture of pride in concern. and i can sing at a day passed during his year away when i did not -- and not a day passed during the year he was a way that i did not worry about his safety.
that gives me comfort -- the prayer express his thanks for the sacrifice of these men and women and their families. that prayer has been a huge source of comfort to me. i could be anywhere in the course of my day, riding on the chalkboard and in my classroom or preparing a meal, and i would stop, close my eyes, and say that a quick prayer for him and all others serving in harm's way. now, i pass on this prayer to the moms and families in need, in the hopes that it comforts them as it did me. i had the opportunity over the last few years to attend several
of the ceremonies. i have seen the bride, the trepidation, the relief, and the pure joy. the pride.n any -- somehow it is always the mothers that seek me out. and now i understand. because i do, i offer them my thanks, my prayer is, and my grief. michele and i have met some many amazing families in the past two years. just last month, i attended a deployment ceremony ran that some folks i now call the grandparents. both parents of three children under the age of 10 were deploying, and these grandparents decided to circle the wagons to take care of the children. the grandmothers are here today.
grandpa's charles is home babysitting. [laughter] i want to thank their entire family for their service. just think. they are not wearing uniforms. they do not live on a base. but they are in service. they could be your neighbors. the grandchildren could be in your child's classroom. they could be members of your church or synagogue or customers at the hardware store you manage. think about that. now imagine how a community could rally around a family, helping with carpools, sporting events, or school activities. i see through my work that small community groups can make a huge difference. and i ask for a moment not just what small gestures need to a family, but what they need to a
soldier thousands of miles away and as someone is looking amount for the ones he loves back home. there are small and effective groups like this all over the country, from the barbecue master who traveled to ohio to cook for military families to the account and providing the free tax service to the soldiers in minnesota collecting equipment for military kids. these people make a difference finalize of our families. when i was in iraq, i heard a story that stuck with me. an officer told me about a little girl in his daughter's class who broke into tears when she heard the "ave maria" sung during a holiday program.
the little girl explained that her -- the son had been played at her father's funeral. her father was killed in iraq. as a teacher, and all teachers, and it understand that little girl's experience. i share that story, and i am so pleased to share the good news today that the american association of colleges for teacher education has partnered with the military child education coalition to promote training for future teachers. together, they hope to teach 10,000 future educators across the country. in our travels, michele and i have seen many teachers making a real difference for the military children in their classrooms, teachers to a range
parent/teacher conferences via skype so deployed parents can participate. or teachers like the one in my granddaughter's classroom who hung up a photo of my sons deployed unit so the whole class would know that natalie's dad was a war. believe me. that photo of her data on the wall meant the world to natalie and it meant the world to me and joe, too. these teachers and all the other individuals across the country who are supporting our troops and their families and showing all americans that there are countless ways to help -- some large, and many small. but all important. and i can tell you from personal experience -- all appreciated.
we can all join forces. i am thrilled and humbled to be here today with a group of people that represents the best of this nation. individuals and families to provide the strength, resilience, and patriotism that shapes in the united states of america. week, joe, myself, barack and michelle, we are here because of you. we are here to celebrate you. you are doing our part. the government is doing its part. as each american has its right to contribute to a military family. everyone of us can commit to one small act of kindness. now it is my honor and privilege
to introduce a man who is doing his part as a strong leader and confident advocate for our service members and military families. he is also the has been up my partner. our president and commander-in- chief, barack obama. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you, everybody. please come i have a seat. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. please. please. thank you very much. as you can see, the vice president and i are the warm-up act here today. [laughter] our role is to introduce our
better have. actually michelle and jill are better 3/4s or 4/5s. basically all-around better. thank you for sharing your stories, been able to describe how much this means to you personally. to the vice-president, who has any pride in the worries and fears when a loved one in uniform is serving in harm's way. we're joined by members of congress today, by members of my cat net, a joint chiefs, by leaders from just about every sector of american society. but most of all, we're joined by our service members and their families, representing the finest military the world has ever known.
and while the campaign that brings us together is unique, it does reflect this. that -- it does reflect the spirit that is familiar to all of us. the spirit that has been part of us as a nation for more than two centuries. freedom. for 234 years, our freedom has been paid by the service and sacrifice of those to step forward, raise your hand, and say "send me." they'd put on a uniform. they swear an oath. to protect and defend. the carry titles that have commanded the expect of generations -- soldiers, chairman, marines, sailors, coast guardmen. these men and women are willing to defend our nation with their very lives, and it is our duty and obligation to serve these
patriots as well as they serve us. we are here today because -- behind every american in uniform, there is a mom, dad, son, daughter, sister, or brother. these remarkable families are the force behind the force. they, too, are the reason we have the finest military in the world. whenever in with our troops overseas, there is one thing the request more than anything else. "take care of my family. take care of my family. because when troops are worried
about their families back,, it is hard for them to focus on the mission overseas. the strength and readiness of the american military depends on the strength and readiness of our military veterans. it is a matter of national security. not just the right thing to do. it also makes this country stronger. that is why we've made major investments to take care of our military families. secretary gates has been of the leaders and in this process. new houses. child care for families. new schools for military kids. better health care for veterans. new educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of veterans and the post-9/11 gi bill. that is why we have launched a landmark new presidential study directed. for the first time, the well- being of military families is a
national priority. it is a federal government priority. today, my administration is working to implement 15 specific commitments to improve the lives of military families. everything from protecting families from financial scams to improving education for military kids and spouses, to stepping up our fight to end homelessness among veterans. as commander-in-chief, i am not going to be satisfied until we meet these commitments. we're going to keep doing everything in our power to give the military family support and respect they deserve. but, as we've said all along, this cannot be the work of government loan. a military and nonmilitary families cannot be the only ones bearing the burden of our security. the united states of america is strongest and americans are at our best when we remember our
obligations to each other, when we remember the price cannot be paid by a select few. where we embrace our responsibilities to each other, especially those who sacrificed in our name, and that is why the extraordinary work of machel and chill has been so important. -- michelle and jill has been so important. michelle went all over the country, listening to stories. inevitably, there were complaints. [laughter] being confused when you have got to brush the daughter's hair, get the ponytail right. they were sharing notes. in all these conversations,
there was one group that kept on heart, andichelle's that was military spouses. and she decided if i got the opportunity to serve as president and she got to be first lady, she would be there for them. and that is exactly what she and jill have done. cassini hospitals where michelle and jill celebrate military families. what you do not see is what happens when cameras are off. michelle and jill come back and use their platform to advocate on your behalf in every single agency. i want every person here to know that she is here as a wife and a
daughter in imam, standing up for you and your families, not just to stay this day, but every day. she has been making sure that you're getting the support and appreciation you and your families deserve. it is my honor to introduce to you my extraordinary wife, america's extraordinary first lady, michelle obama. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you some much. thank you. thank you. it is a thrill.
it is always nice to be introduced by the president of united states. [laughter] it is always kind of cool. on behalf of all this, and one to think my husband, joe, for their leadership from the top down, their personal commitment to keeping a military family strong is really what allow this to be here. i told military families this comes from the very top. this is not just about me and jill. we have husbands who care about these issues and we would not be here today if it were not for their leadership. so, here we are. this is the moment we've been working for for such a long time. but me say i am thrilled that all of you could be here today as the launch this unprecedented national campaign to honor and
support our incredible military families. we're calling it a " joining forces." pretty good. [laughter] with collet join forces for a special reason. this campaign is about all of us. all of us join together as americans to give back the story nearing -- to give back to the extraordinary military families to sacrifice some much every day so we can live in freedom and security. during forces is a challenge -- joining foreces is a challenge to make a real commitment to supporting these families. i want to thank all of you here, because this campaign is evan result of everything some many of you have shared with us and taught us of the past two years. i am especially grateful to my phenomenal partner in this effort, the blue star mom
herself and a tireless champion, and an inspiration to me throughout this entire process -- my dear friend, dr. jill biden. [applause] joining forces is inspired by the amazing military families with net across the country, some of them, like shirley, have been able to join as today. families who have told us that even with the outpouring of support for our troops over the last decade, the truth is that as a country, we do not only see their families, our heroes in the home front. these families have appealed to last, like the military mom who wrote to me and said "please don't americans forget or ignore
what we live with." joining forces is shaped by the insights of spouses of senior enlisted advisers in countless voices who have been terrific advice is to us. also the passionate advocates of military families who are here, and members of congress from both parties. they are all in support of this. these are all leaders who have devoted their lives to serving our country and to help us to understand where and how can he might this can really make a difference. joining voices builds on the great work of the entire administration, which is main
military families of priority across the federal government. even as we recognize, as the president said, but this work cannot be done by government,. yes sir excited that as a result of the work we have done, businesses and organizations across america, including some of the best known names in brands, have already responded to this call. they are going to be announcing major new commitments to support military families, and you will see that as incredible commitments as we go forward. we are tremendously grateful for so many of them stepping up so early. joining voices is rooted in american values of service and citizenship. in world war ii, the whole
nation went toe war. today, fewer americans serve. military families do not wear uniforms, so we do not always see them. as a results, we do not always realize how hard it can be. i am not always realized it myself paid my father served in the army, but that was before i was born. i did not grow up and military family. like many americans, i did not see firsthand, a military family sacrifice as well. joining voices is about the
responsibilities we all have as americans. 1% of americans may be fighting, but 100% of americans need to be supporting their families. this is a national initiative. this is how it is going to work. first, as part of the new public awareness campaign, we're going to highlight the service of these families that americans to not only state. the first step of taking action is awareness. the truth is our military families are all around us. we may not know it. we're going to remind americans that most military families live off base. they are our neighbors and co- workers. the military spouse who puts in an awful day at the office -- a
full day at the office. most military children go to public schools. they are classmates and teammates, trying to handle all the normal pressures of growing up, even as they worry what their data are mom well face. many are national guardsmen who do not live anywhere near a military base. they are in virtually every community in this country. they are our policemen, firefighters, doctors. the next day, they are deployed to a war zone. just about every county in america has sent a service member to iraq or afghanistan, and their families, including goldstar families in maine the ultimate sacrifice. they live all over america.
it probably is not a town in this country without a veteran. so we want americans to realize every community is a military community in a way. these are the stories we're going to tell. these of the stories you're going to celebrate. to help us, we're being joined by outstanding folks who know about capturing the public attention -- nascar and wal-mart in major league baseball. there and be creating public- service announcements. others will feature the likes of tom hanks and oprah winfrey. writers, producers, directors, actors, all telling war stories of military families in tv shows and movies. we will make sure their military families are never forgotten. which leads to the second part of joining voices.
these are specific things the family has told us about -- places we can make specific improvement. and in the area of employment, we're going to be champions for our military spouses and veterans as they look for new jobs in the advance careers, and we will make sure that businesses now how lucky they are to have these talented spouses on their team. we're going to work to help children thrive in the classroom, even as they move between schools, and we're going to work to make it easier for military spouses to continue their education and get degrees in the areas of wellness -- including the mental health. we're going to remind this nation that just as our troops
deserve the best support when dealing with the stresses of war and long deployment, so, too, to military spouses and children. any support as well. which brings me to the most important part of joining voices, which is how do we get this done? everyone can do something. we are joining forces across the federal government. these 15th amendment's the president mentioned will make such a difference. they're going to give military families a seat at the table across the federal government. in means we will all be working together to ensure your forging new federal partnerships for years to come. we're going to be joining
voices with states and cities and local governments. the one the country now about michigan and pittsburg and agusta, georgette that encourage folks to volunteer support our troops and their families. and states can make it so easy for these families. they can be easier for spouses to get professional licenses and certifications. they can make it easier for military children to transfer between schools. still, every state and city and town and in this country can do something. we are joining forces with businesses, large and small, making new commitments as we speak, today. companies like sears, kmart, sam's club, are telling military spouses that if they move to a new duties station, they will do their best to have a job waiting for the spouses.
siemens is setting aside 10% of their open positions for veterans. they are finding mentors for military wives and hosting job fairs for these individuals. aol, sysco, and other comp -- other technology companies are making opportunities. companies like hewlett-packard, so they consider their own businesses, and believe me, the list goes on and on and, because every business can do something. we are joining voices with nonprofits.
the uso is going to expand -- expand its efforts. jill said the military tells coalition is joining with the pta and teaching colleges to help communities better serve our military kids. the national math and science initiative will be bringing advanced placement courses to tens of thousands of students, including military kids. the sierra club and ymca are part of the national military association to get more kids to camp this year. the american heart association will help 100,000 military spouses and women veterans lead healthier lives. and the list goes on and on, everyone stepping up. because every nonprofit can do something. and finally, this is about all of us joining forces americans.
but if you are a parent or teacher, you can encourage your school to find ways to support military kids. if you are a lawyer, an account, a counselor, you can offer your services pro bono. if you are a member of a church or synagogue, it can urge her community to reach out to families grieving the loss of a loved one. it could be something as simple as mowing the lawn. shoveling snow for the family down the street, taking a shift of car pool are helping that wounded warrior in your neighborhood. you do not have to know military families. thanks to great organizations like blue star families in the partnerships with the american red cross, every american can
write a letter to military families and let them know they will be volunteering in their own community. they will tell you -- sometimes it is the smallest thing. it is the simple things that make the -- we're creating a new website. joiningforces.gov, where americans can come together to find out how they can take action in their communities. because every american can do something. that includes me and jill. beginning tomorrow, we are hitting the road. yes, a road trip. [laughter] i think jill is going to drive.
we're going to be traveling across the country, visiting families and communities and nonprofits and businesses that support this families of -- every day. at each stop, we will be encouraging them to ask this simple question -- how can i give back to a family that has given me some much. that is the question. i'm excited about this campaign. i know jill is, too. this is not a short-term effort. our military families deserve our respect and support, no matter who was in office. it is obvious what we are launching today us become part of the fabric of our country. to make sure it does, i am proud that one of the leading non-partisan institutions, the
center for new american security has stepped forward. they are going to be guided by an advisory board of distinguished americans, bringing people together around a common cause. that includes patty shinseki. we are grateful to you both for leading this effort. good stuff. so, jill and i truly believe that if enough people across this great country really realize how much military families do for us, and if we look in our minds to see what we can offer, then there is absolutely no limit to what we can do together to keep these
families strong. if we do this, if we come together, we'll come closer to our vision of a nation that truly recognizes and honors are military families. it is in america where every soldier, sailor, marine, they can deploy their families will be taking care of back home. it is an america where every military spouse has the support he or she needs to keep their families strong. it is in america where every military child has to support a need to grow and learn and realize their dream. it is an american where our veterans and their families -- especially our goldstar families -- who have sacrificed so much
threat the integrity of their lives. we see a nation where more americans are joining forces on behalf of our military families. and believe me, this is going to remain one of my defining missions as first lady. thank you for joining us to make this happen. and we hope that this campaign will be worthy of the service and sacrifice of every single military families in the country. thank you so much. [applause]
>> next, a discussion on programs available for military families. then as ceremony honoring bob dole. then another chance to see first lady michelle obama and jill biden. >> this week on road to the white house, donald trump and the baton, florida. he speaks at a south florida tea party rally. that is at 9:30 p.m. eastern on c-span.
now a discussion on some of the private programs to support military families. desist from wednesday's "washington journal." this is just over 30 minutes. s. host: we want to welcome joyce raez raezer. guest: thank you. host: what are the major issues military families need? what are the biggest concerns? guest: how to sustain support for families challenged by a decade of war. the needs of the military families have grown. even in support services have grown. the issues they face, the challenges they face are cumulative. research now that says military families have a harder time the longer that service member has been deployed. if we look to the challenges our nation faces our military
families face the challenges sustaining family support. not just the government but also from all those citizens and organizations and people out there that interact with military families on a daily basis. host: we have a line for military families. if you have a spouse that is serving in the military, either here, stateside or overseas and for all others we ask you to call the other number. so specifically, in terms of programs you think need to be addressed, is it financial, support, education, is it medical? guest: it's all of the above. military families interact in the world as civilian families do. if you are a military family today, you're concerned about your child's education, you are concerned about access to quality health care.
access to quality health care including behavioral health services is more important when you are stressed from many years at war. you are concerned about a career. if you are a military spouse, you want that career because the family needs an income and you feel that you need to satisfy the career goals yourself. it is good housing in a safe neighborhood. recognition from your employees, friends, neighbors that people care about you and understand your sacrifice for our country in addition to your service member's sacrifice for this country. host: here is how the president addressed this issue yesterday from the east room in the white house. >> part of a landmark presidential study directive. for the first time ever, the well-being of our military families is a national priority. not just a defense or b.a. priority. it is a federal government priority.
today, my administration's working to implement nearly 50 specific commitments to improve the lives of military families. everything from protecting families from financial scams, improving education for military kids and spouses, to stepping up our fight to end homelessness among veterans. host: let me pick up on the president's issue of homelessness. we hear a lot about veterans coming back, unable to get jobs and living in shelters. how big of a problem is it? guest: everyone's statistics say it is a huge issue. it is an issue where we need the community and federal government to work together to solve the problem. employers to reach out to veterans, to hire them. these are talented, dedicated people who want to continue to work and want to serve. so they're a wonderful labor pool for employers. we need the local civic
organizations to be aware as they work in communities that our veteran population is out there, maybe with families who need help. and we need our government to step up and do as much as possible through getting the program out. and also work on prevention. what can we do to support those families as they prepare for that transition while they're still on active duty? host: this is at the same time congress will vote on cutting almost $40 billion in the budget for the next fiscal year and president talking about reducing the overall debt and deficit. where does the money come from? guest: military families are taxpayers too, they're concerned about the federal deficit just as everybody else in this country is. but military families also are doing a job for this country. so i think the money has to come from the federal government. one of our goals is to make sure that in that budget debate, the people who are making the budget
decisions don't try to spend the peace dividend too soon. that they consider what the military families need to maintain long-term and have product as citizens of the country. we need community organizations and foundations to promote good projects to serve veterans and communities. and employers to embrace these folks as vital members of the workforce as well. it is a tough issue on the budget, but look at the cost of the support programs and the cost to the country if we don't keep these support mechanisms in place. host: kay wright saying 40% of the homeless people are vets or around 250,000 people, so much for thanks them for service. larry is joining us on the line from tennessee. good morning. caller: good morning.
thank you for your help with military families, young lady. i'm a third-generation combat vet, a second-generation military brat and 100% service connected, totally and disabled combat vet out of vietnam. the same thing that's going on right now with veterans at 40% of the veterans being able to find a job and living on the streets is the same thing that happened after vietnam. the people of the u.s. do not care about the veterans after they have served their time. they want to be protected but they don't want to pay. they don't want to go to war themselves because they're scared of getting killed, which is rational. but there has got to be somebody out there to protect the
american way of life. and if the people that receive that way of life aren't willing to help, how long do you think the military will remain as a volunteer organization? host: thank you, larry. guest: thank you, larry for you and your family's service. you are right. the nation has to support and honor that service, not just with yellow ribbons and welcome-home ceremonies, but through that whole life of that military family and that veteran. and that's what we're trying to raise. that is what i think the administration is trying to raise with this point of getting -- joining forces, pulling in employers and donors and nonprofit organizations and american citizens to help. we're a nonprofit, we don't take
any federal funding. it's been -- individual americans and workplaces and civilians who have enabled us to do more for military families. the desire is out there to help. we need to sustain it and we need to give folks who want to help ideas about how they can help. >> more information by logging on to militaryfamily.org. the white house is also releasing photographs from vice president joe biden and first lady michelle obama as they meet with military families. host: what percent of the enlisted military on food stamps and other programs? guest: a small percentage of people on food stamps. the way it is calculated, most of the families do make more
than would make them eligible. it is generally large junior enlisted families. those that came into the military with a family looking for a better opportunity that probably live in government housing. more military families that are eligible for wic, the women and infants and children program, but this is true across the united states. a very high percentage of our citizens are eligible for this wonderful nutrition program. and we want our military families to be able to take advantage of those services. but i have to say that just because military families aren't on some of the government programs, doesn't mean that they might be on the financial edge because they're dealing with the deployment and extra costs that emerge because the service member is gone. they're young families. they've been ordered to move maybe across the country or across the world because of their military service.
that military spouse may not be able to find a job right away when they do move. they're incurring expenses. we need to watch out for those families, whether or not they're on government programs and most of them aren't. we need to watch out for them and understand that many can be on the financial edge. i think that came out strongly last week with some of the news programs and stories about the potential government shutdown and what might happen to military families if this friday they only got one week's pay versus two weeks' pay. host: next caller is sheila on the phone from north dakota. we have a phone for military families. give us a call. good morning, sheila. caller: i have a question. me and my spouse are both military. over the course of the last 10 years, i had two children. me and my spouse were like passing ships, he would be deployed, then i would be
deployed. it eventually led to our divorce. however i was then a single parent. when i would have to be deployed, my family members would come and live with my kids. but when you go with all the cuts they have done, when you call for counseling for your children, you are only given five sessions. now, when someone is gone and the kids are only given five sessions when you come back, trying to deal with teenage issues that have arisen while you are gone and certainly not enough to work through the problems and anger and resentment. they're cutting out the chaplain, which is your only other option. i have a question as to what kind of -- you know, life skill services, why they limit those only to active duty instead of family members? host: thank you, sheila.
guest: sheila, thank you for your service. your family is certainly one of the more common military families today in terms of dual military. you have kids, you are pulling family members in to help the kids when you or your former husband was deployed. it is rough. the counsel services that you talk about are new since the start of the war, but we're hearing from other families as well as you that in a lot of places they're not enough. sometimes, the problem is there just aren't enough providers in an area to see all of the families who need that counseling support. military chaplains are stretched thin as well. we're worried about them in terms of caregivers who is providing the support for them? but there is a national shortage of mental and behavioral health support countrywide. we have families in some areas
and it may be that your location in north dakota that the government doesn't have enough. we need more counselors to step forward and say, we will see military families. even though military doesn't maybe pay the best in terms of reimbursement rate. we will see the patients because we believe it is important for us to do so. and we also would urge families, if you think you need more services than are covered, go back to military 1 source, which is the d.o.d.-sponsored program for military families or tricare program and say, you know, help me with services. there are additional services coming online that are available, not just for the service member but for the family. but we know that in some geographic areas, that is a real problem. i would hope that you check with us as well to see if we can connect you with resources.
host: one viewer said if we were to exit iraq and afghanistan soon, some of the affected soldiers returning home without jobs. i use that as a way to point out that usa today yesterday a story on vets from combat to campus, trying to ensure success and ease the transition from military life. on both of these, how do you respond? guest: what we have seen in the economy has been a factor in the veteran employment rate, as it stands today. we have a lot of people out looking for jobs. i think military veterans are going to have the same issues. we know military spouses today have the issues because they move to a new community and can't get a job in that community because of the economy. i think we have to push out to employers and say this is a valuable workforce.
these are people that are highly trained. i think the new g.i. bill enabling the veterans to go to school to gain even more skills is going to help them in the long run. that g.i. bill has a transferability portion where some service members can give members they're not going to use to family members. it will help military spouses and military families send their kids to college. that unemployment issue is huge. we have to be careful sometimes about the messaging. a lot in the news about p.t.s.d. and combat stress. we should not portray these folks as damaged goods. these are folks that reacted normally to abnormal situations. they have been dealing with these issues. they want to be a continued part of the american society, and they can do that through meaningful jobs. so we need to give them that
help. host: next is tim from idaho. we want to show the militaryfamily.org website. our guest is the executive director of the association. good morning, tim. caller: good morning. i came from a military family. my dad fought in the second world war in chorea. i was in korea twice. and i'm hearing all of these things about military families. today, individuals the same rank i was, same time i was when i was retired makes almost twice as much money as i do. that doesn't include benefits like housing allowances, separate rations. you know when i man's overseas, he can live on his overseas pay and his combat pay. a lot of the