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tv   President Tells Coast Guard Graduates to Never Back Down  CSPAN  May 17, 2017 11:15am-12:05pm EDT

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the resources we have on our committee compared to what the september 11 commission had. that committee had over 100 full-time staff devoted to getting to the bottom. mr. swalwell: what happened here we're talking about a crime that russia carried out it looks like took place over a long period of time, involves foreign witnesses in multiple countries. it's going to involve getting to the bottom of electronic communications and complicated financial trans,s -- transactions. just because we're not doing it as soon as we like doesn't mean we don't have a responsibility to make sure in the 201 election or 2020 presidential election we don't do all we can to improve the structural integrity of our election system. >> we'll have all of this online for you streamed at we're going to leave and take you to new london, connecticut, the graduation ceremony for the cadets of the u.s. coast guard. president trump arriving to deliver the commencement address. live coverage here on c-span.
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["hail to the chief" playing]
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>> please remain standing for our national anthem. military personnel, ten-hut. and a wlute. -- salute. playing the national anthem]
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cheers and applause] >> please remain standing. at this time i invite professor janet mcgleely united states of the stage. she's a member of the faculty with the longest service at the coast guard academy. >> the 136th commencement exercises of the united states coast guard academy are now convened. [applause] >> captain michael j. paresee,
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command chaplain, united states coast guard academy, will now eliver the invocation. >> let us pray. heavenly father, help us to be mindful of your presence and of your love for your people as we gather to see the class of 2017 graduated from this academy and commissioned in the united states coast guard. we thank you for the perseverance, strength of purpose that bring them to this happy day. we thank you, too, lord for all who have offered them support and encouragement along the way. for parents, family, and friends. for teachers and coaches. for the leadership of the academy and of the nation. for mentors, sponsors, and clergy. men.
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>> thank you, chaplain. ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. platform party and presenters of commissions, please join the class of 2017 and uncover. all other military personnel, please remain covered throughout the ceremony. i now have the pleasure of introducing the 41 stth superintendent of the united states coast guard academy, rear admiral james e. rendon. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. president trump, secretary public vernor malloy, and community leaders, distinguished alumni, military veterans, faculty staff, corps of cadets, family and friends, and special note soon-to-be ensigns from the great class of 17, how special it is this
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morning to be together for this extraordinary occasion. what glorious weather here in coast guard city new london. what a terrific coast guard academy bears day. can i feel the energy and enthusiasm -- i can feel the energy and enthusiasm, and to get things started how about a loud and proud, go bears! on the count of three, one, two, three -- >> go, bears! >> oh, how i love this place. and what a beautiful, beautiful sight it is to see these graduates, right here, ready and eager to join the officers and crews performing the many missions of the coast guard. today is indeed a great day for them, for this academy, and for our coast guard. yes, today is about these folks right here. once swabs now
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leaders and we're all so very excited for them. but today is not just about them. it's also about parents, families, sponsor families, friends, all of you here who have done so much to encourage and support them during the past four years. it is through your guidance and support, your love that each of them will be receiving their hard-earned diploma and commission. and so on behalf of this class, if i may, the class of 2017, i say thank you, well-done, and congratulations. [applause] this place, the united states coast guard academy, works hard and works together on our main calling -- to educate, train, develop, and inspire leaders of
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character. leaders that leave here with the strength of character to meet the expectation and challenges of our coast guard, of our nation, and community of nations around the globe. mr. president, i am so very proud to report that the women and men before you today have successfully completed their 200-week program. they have individually and collectively as a class, as a flex as a family exercised and truly have strengthened their character muscles academically, athletically, and professionally these past four years. the mission here for this class is complete. they are, indeed, ready and will be always ready to take on the responsibilities of a commissioned officer in our great coast guard. we, the faculty and staff here, have the utmost confidence that
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they will serve and lead and succeed with unwavering zeal and care and determination. congratulations to the faculty and staff who prepared them. all of you here that have supported them, congratulations to this impressive class. go, commencement. go, graduates. and forever, go, bears. [applause] and of our 195 young men and women graduating here today, with a class of 2017, six are international cadets. who have proudly represented their nations while greatly, greatly enriching our academy and the corps. at this time we invite these international cadets, along with members of their national delegation, to stand when their
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names are called and remain standing. these graduates will return to their countries and serve with distinction in their armed forces. rom honduras, al handrow sandobria. [applause] tsengale ia, eldar sie. three cassettes from mexico -- louis terassa. ina karanza. nd ruth salvatore.
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and lastly, from the marshal identify wlands, james miazoi. [applause] thank you, you may be seated. i now have the privilege of introducing this year's distinguished graduate. the distinguished graduate is a cadet who graduates with the highest military president's average which includes the academic, military, and physical components of the entire 200-week program. it is with great pride that i introduce this year's distinguished graduate, first class christopher popeel. [applause] first class christopher popeel
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is from st. augustine, florida. he majored in operations research and computer analysis. this past academic year, he completed a project that created a decision support tool that ranks by priority coast guard's small boat stations within a district based on various mission and environmental factors. impressively he was also working that project in the fall semester while also being the regimental chief of staff. talk about time-management challenges. in the summer of 2016, first class popeel worked with the office of requirements and analysis at the coast guard headquarters to learn how operations research is used to solve so many of the most important issues facing our coast guard today. next month first class popeel will report to the coast guard polar star, his first choice
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apparently, in seattle, washington, where he will serve as deck watch officer. i have the utmost confidence dot first class propeel will great things in our coast guard just as he has done here at the academy. please join me in another round of applause for the distinguished graduate of the united states coast guard academy, class of 2017, first class christopher popeel. cheers and applause] >> good morning, president trump, secretary kelly, admiral. admiral rendon, distinguished guests, faculty and staff,
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family and friends. and the incredible class of 2017. cheers and applause] i thank you-all for joining us to celebrate the pardon work and achievement of our great class and i thank you for the opportunity to speak on this momentous occasion. winston churchill once said, success is not final. failure is not fatal. it is the courage to continue that counts. all 195 of us had the courage to continue from swab summer to graduation. from sea trials through grad week. in late april half of our class showed fierce courage when we did the traditional first class takeover of downtown new london, wearing -- navy blue bath robes. hey, we were showing our coast
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guard pride and, sure, we received some strange looks, and maybe we looked a little bit absurd, but we wanted to do something that no other cadets had done before. our class unity and emboldened us. in relying one another we turned this event into one of the most memorable nights of our lives. during fourth class year we coined our motto, the storm yields courage. which is emblazoned our a class crest and inscribed on our class ring. and four years later, i cannot think of a more suitable motto for our class of 2017. everyone has experienced their own trials and tribulation, but the fact that we're all here today proves that we have had the courage to weather these storms. this was no easy task. rigorous lectures, late night lab reports, morning drills, capstone projects, papers, sail stations, inspections, so much
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more. and these are not task that is we completed by ourselves. we had an advisor and mentor in lieutenant commander brook millar. she is genuine, straightforward, and most importantly passionate about the coast guard and our class. she knew when to go to bat for us, but she also knew when to give us some tough love. as a result, lieutenant commander millar helped foster unity among us and together we triumphed. now, just last week nick asked me what will you miss the most about new london? and i had trouble thinking of places because i could only think of faces. when i think of new london, i think of the faces of all the incredible people whom we have had the honor to interact with over the past four years. faculty, coaches, family, and
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friends. people who have supported us, motivated us, and pushed us to become who we're today. thank you for providing endless phone calls, care packages, and cheers from the stands. from personal experience i know how unity can give individuals courage to get through their own storms. during our second class year, i broke my elbow playing basketball which required major reconstructive surgery. this was the second time during my cadet career that i had broken the same elbow. and i thought for sure that my time at the academy was coming to an early end. i was defeated and i was ready to give up. when i returned from the hospital, i planned to isolate myself and just wallow in my misery. as i opened my door, i found my classmates there. waiting for me. determined to get me back on
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track. their unconditional support was overwhelming. and it gave me the courage to fight. to work with my classmates. and to push myself to improve. without my classmates, i would not be here today giving this speech. finding courage through unity has occurred individually as well as kwlectively. -- collectively. this year we were informed we would not have a traditional tassel. instead our class banded together and planned a bert event. when in doubt -- better event. the fairmont in boston was a beautiful night and a perfect event for our class. a night we'll remember for years to come. additionally our class was the first to retain everyone through the summer training program. now we graduate one of the largest groups ever.
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[applause] even in the face of adversity, our class has demonstrated that we have the strength to overcome obstacles. our courage also man fested in creative ways by many of our classmates. although we look the same in uniform, underneath there is a multitude of personalities and talent. audrey used her drawing and painting abilities to create masterpieces for the cadet art show. john dillard has been able to master just about every instrument known to humankind. kyle phillips, andrew doyle, and casey started as a high energy band and they filled every venue they played in downtown new london. austin ross cataloged our class events with a keen photographers' eye. serge and rill wrote a journal. nicki has led the coast guard sailing program to national
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prominence. and dan showed off his comedic chops when he stepped off the wrestling mat and on to the stage. he's are just a few examples of our classmates willing to show vulnerable side of themselves all for the sake of self-expression. and then i guess the storm of uncertainty, the class of 2017 has demonstrated the courage to be pioneers. to further inclusion and diversity, shanea led a group of cadets to develop the diversity pier educator program. tray decided one major wasn't enough so he decided to finish with a double major. tyler has worked tirelessly to set himself up to be a chemical engineer for the coast guard. and several people such as sydney have dedicated a lot of their time as first generation college students. the initiative and dedication of these and many of our shipmates reassures us that the coast guard will be in good hands.
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lastly, we have also been able to find courage through the -- unitity in the face of tragedy. thirdssing of of baso our class year was difficult. and we're recalling it now brings sorrow to our hearts. it is never easy to loose a member of your family. both by unifying as a class to support one another, we have summoned the courage to keep him in our hearts and through our every success and every challenge we overcome, we honor their memories. and now 2017, we have made it. we're on the verge of receiving our diplomas and our commission. the reward for four vigorous years at the coast guard. and i wish to leave you-all with one last reminder, that through unity and courage, we have all achieved so much already.
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and it's time to show the rest of the world just what we're capable of. let us be relentless. let us be tenacious. and let us be courageous. and know that we're never alone because we have 195 brothers and sisters all ready to help whenever necessary. go, bears! go, commencement. and forever, go class of 2017. thank you. cheers and applause] it is now my privilege to introduce the commandant of the coast guard, admiral f. -- paul f. zucom. [applause] >> thank you, cadet first class popiel, and thank you to the class of 2017. it is a real honor to be here
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today because we're a division three interscholastic sports team here at the coast guard academy. yet we have outmuscled the air rce academy, west point, and annapolis because we have landed our commander in chief to preside at this day's commencement. [applause] tomorrow morning i am going to testify before our house appropriations committee. these are the individuals who write checks for our service. and we have often told ourselves we're a service that does more with less. i'm here to say we're a service that does more because we have the best. and the best are sitting here before their parents, their family members today. but here's what i'm going to say. as you may know we're already building out a fleet of national security cutters.
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that program of record was going to be truncated about five or six and now we're building 10. we're building out 58 fast response cutters. many of you will be assigned to those. we're building out a fleet of offshore patrol cutters, awarded the contract for the first nine. and we just freed up money under this administration to finally invest in heavy ice breakers. they are going to build six but the fast track to build the first one. [applause] we're missionizing brand new aircraft. we're growing the end strength by over 5,000 of our active duty coast guard. so i'm here to say i can't get you out of those seats and to add shoulder boards and out to the fleet into the air, into ports, and into cyberfast enough. i will fast forward my comments here today. let's look where you sit today. for the last 200 weeks you have
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been students of the principal of -- principle of leadership, leaders of character. so when you walk off today, you will be graduates. my expectation is that you will be leaders of character, but it's going to be 24 by seven. what does it mean to be a leader of character? we're in the business as a military service first and foremost about national security. but with national security also comes public trust. and the two of those are interwoven but you don't have both of those unless you have leaders ever character. -- of character. what does public trust look like? today the united states coast guard operates in the waters of over 60 nations throughout the world. using up to deadly force to enforce fishery regulations. to go after drug smugglers. in fact, today we have over 27 metric tons of cocaine in the
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holds of coast guard cutters today that we have seized in the last three weeks alone. we have leveled the playing field because we have leaders of character carrying out those missions. [applause] when i meet with all of the arctic nations, they look to the united states coast guard as the leader in the arctic. as they see this world open up, what fills that vacuum. they look to the united states coast guard to fill that vacuum. because we're first and foremost a military service, and we opened up a whole new front in cyberas well. so, yes, leaders of character you are and leaders of character that you will be as we find our coast guard deployed across seven continents around the world at any given time. so we're not the coast guard that i joined back in 1973 when
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i first entered chase hall. so when i think back 40 years ago, i first think of your motto, your motto of storms yield courage. so 40 years ago as i sat in those seats, back in 1977, there was only one storm on the horizon, that was the cold war. now, it was a war with very high stakes, but it was a nonshooting war nonetheless and very predictable world that i entered into. you are going to be military leaders in a world that has storms on many fronts. a world that is bereft of anything but tranquility and it's going to require leaders of character to lead this great nation as you confront storms beyond what you could have imagined during your 200 weeks here at the united states coast guard academy. and the biggest responsibility
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that i'm going to entrust upon you, upon receiving your commissions, is i am going to entrust the men and women who you are going to lead. i am going to entrust their lives into your leadership. and to your judgment. quite frankly, there is no higher calling to be given that daunting responsibility, because you do that and day in and day out you will earn the admiration and trust befitting of a leader. the leader is not what you wear on your shoulders. a leader is what you hold in your heart. and i have followed this class now for nearly four years during my tenure as commandant. and i know that we are going to do more with the best because we have the class of 2017 ready to join our fleet. thank you one and all. [applause]
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at this point it is my honor to introduce no stranger to public service, a mere 45 years in the united states marine corps, rising from e-1 to a four-star general. but he leads the third largest agency, a force of over 225,000, larger than the united states marine corps and the department of homeland security, our fifth secretary, the honorable john f. kelly, the secretary of the united states coast guard. thank you. [applause] secretary kelly: thanks, commandant. thanks very much. i'll be very, very brief. two bits of advice i know probably an awful lot of people have been giving you advice, but i'll tell you the ones that got me through 45 1/2 years of leading marines, soldiers, and coasties in command and peacetime. take care of your people. train them. mentor them.
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defend them. they will do anything you ask them to do. so show up to work on time. they will put their lives at risk on the high seas interdicting drugs in tons. dealing with the most dangerous men on the planet. they will jump out of a helicopter in the middle of the night into raging seas to save someone's life. all you have to do is lead them. the second thing i wanted to share with you is a bit of advice, tell the truth. tell the truth to your seniors, even though it's uncomfortable, even though they may not want to hear it. they deserve that. tell the truth. finally, a quick story about what you are about to do, because it's all going to get fairly serious here in a minute as you go from cadets to commissioned officers. about 42 million americans in our history have taken the oath that you are about to take, more or less. 42 million americans, about a million have died in the defense
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of their country. as the story goes, we have a very, very unique oath. the most unique oath on the planet. if we were in london right now and you were graduating from whatever school, you would be taking an oath to the sovereign. to the queen. if we were in france you would be taking an oath to the french people. if we were in beijing you would be taking an oath to the communist party. there's various others. we're the only country, you are the only people, that will take n oath to a concept. in body and piece of paper called the u.s. constitution. to understand that we're first and foremost a nation of laws. if we use that as our guiding goument document, we'll never, ever go wrong. where did the oath come from? as the story goes, it's generally accurate as i understand it, they were about to inaugurate our very first president. we had never done that before. george washington, our first
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capital, new york city. they were just about to go out and do it and someone said don't we need an oath? because up to that point they had been english men and women and had already taken their oath to the sovereign. so they sat down and wrote up the oath that you generally are about to take. they handed it to george washington just before he became president. and the only thing he added to that oath was, so help me god. as you take the oath today, understand that you are swearing to the american people, to a ece of paper to uphold the constitution of the united states against you will enemies foreign and domestic. and to your death you are willing to go to fulfill that oath. from one marine to a whole bunch of cadets just about to be commissioned officers, i wish you well. fair winds and following seas as we say in the naval services. god bless you. god bless your parents.
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and go out and lead those young coasties in what duties they are accomplishing. again i'm incredibly proud to be up here. with that my duty, my honor now is to introduce our president, our commife, donald trump. thank you very much. -- commander in chief. donald trump. thank you very much. cheers and applause] president trump: thank you very much. thank you, john. thank you. thank you and congratulations to the class of 2017. great job. general kelly, i want to thank you for your leadership as the coast guard's service secretary. you have really been something
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very, very special to us as a country and to me and our administration. you have done -- brought your entire life, an incredible job defending your country. thank you very much. [applause] john and all of his folks are also doing an incredible job protecting our homeland and our border and i'm thrilled that my first address to the service academy is the graduation ceremony, the united states coast guard. believe me it's a great honor. [applause] i have been here before. it's a very, very special place. every cadet graduating today as your commander in chief, it is truly my honor to welcome you aboard. [applause] you should take a moment to celebrate this incredible
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achievement. governor mill -- milloy, thank you for being here. we're glad you could join us. i know how busy the governors are nowadays. they are out there fighting. never easy. budgets are tight. we're doing a job. all of us are doing a job working together. want to also thank admiral zu kohf an his leadership. his leadership has been amazing. today's graduates will be fortunate to serve under such capable and experienced commandant. he really is. fantastic. thanks also to admiral rendon. the academy superintendent, admiral, i understand you come from a true coast guard family. two brothers, a nephew, cousin have all passed through these halls. that's very impressive. i guess you like the place, right? [applause]
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>> somebody in your family has been doing something right i can tell you that. i'm sure they are all very proud just as we're very proud of the fine young officers who are graduating today, admiral, on your watch. i would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all of the parents and the grandparents and family members who have supported these amazing graduates. give your parents and everyone a hand. come on. [applause] because america has families like yours and we'll keep all of those families safe and very, very secure. keeping your families safe now. if you are not already, you are about to become military families. so starting today i hope you feel the full gratitude of our
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nation. these fine young cadets are about to take their rightful place on the frontline of defense for the united states of america. cadets, you deserve not only the congratulations but the gratitude of each and every american. we all salute you. a proud nation. [applause] you are a part of a very, very proud nation. which salutes the 195 cadets of the coast guard academy class of 2017. ood job. i understand from the admirals that this has been a very special class. you have been trained here to handle the toughest of situations. the hardest of moments really that you can experience. and the hardest in people's
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lives to help the weak in their hour of need. but even for the coast guard, this class has been exceptionally dedicated to public service. you serve breakfast at the local food bank every single week day. you rebuilt a home with habitat for humanity. last year you led cadets in donating a total of 24,000 hours, a lot of time, to community service. you have done amazing work and in the true coast guard fashion, you had fewer people and fewer resources, but you accomplished the objectives and you did it with skill and with pride. and i'd like to say under budget and ahead of schedule. we're doing a lot of that now in the united states government. [applause] we're doing a lot of that. i won't talk about how much i saved you on the f-35 fighter jet. i won't even talk about it. or how much we're about to save
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you on the gerald ford, aircraft carrier. had a little bit of an overrun problem before i got here. you know that. still have an overrun problem. we came in when it was finished. but we're going to save some good money. when we build the new aircraft carriers they are going to be built under budget and ahead of schedule. just remember that. that will allow us to build more. now, of course, there are always a few slip-ups from time to time. you know that. for example, i understand that once or twice first class cadet bruce kemp, where's bruce? where's bruce? bruce, how do you do this to yourself, bro? as regimental parking officer, might have accidentally caused a few tickets to be issued, or a few of your cars to be booted. bruce, what's going on with you?
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but cadets from this day forward we want everyone to have a clean slate in life. hat includes bruce, right? and so for any oversights or small violations that might have occurred this year, as tradition demands, i hereby absolve every cadet serving restrictions for minor offenses. now, bruce stand up once again,. they saved you, bruce, because they all wanted me to do that, ok. thank you, bruce. congratulations, bruce. good job. by the way, bruce, don't worry about it. that's a tradition. i was forced to do that. you know that. don't worry. this is truly an amazing group of cadets that are here today for commission. you could have gone to school
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anywhere you wanted, and with very, very few responsibilities by comparison. instead, you chose the path of service. you chose hard work, high standards, and a very noble mission to save lives, defend the homeland, and protect america's interests around the world. you chose the coast guard. good choice. good choice. [applause] you have learned skills they don't teach at other schools right here on the ground of this academy. and also on your larger campus, the open sea. that is a large, large campus, isn't it? a beautiful campus. but the greatest lesson you have learned at this proud institution is the knowledge you have learned about yourself. it's the knowledge that each and every one of you is something very special. you are leaders.
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for the first stormy days of your swab summer, to your final weeks as a first class cadet, you have been expected to take responsibility to make decisions and to act. that's ke all leaders exactly what you have to do. you have to act. and you have to act properly. and you have to learn how to act under grade, great pressure. you are all going to be under great pressure. you have to learn how to respond and to act under great pressure. days from now you will put this vital skill into the service of your ships, your sectors, and your country. you'll serve as deck watch officers on our amazing coast guard cutters. you'll bring law and order to the dangerous waters as boating officers. >> we'll show you-all of the
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president's comments later in our program schedule. they are also streamingline now at here on c-span we'll take you live to the u.s. house. they gavel in for legislative work including a bill this afternoon that would impose new sanctions on those who do business with or provide financing to the syrian government. live house coverage is here on c-span. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, the rabbi thomas a. louchheim, congregation or chadash, tucson, arizona. the chaplain: loving god. each day raise up these good women and men who are serving our country with honor. renew in them the faith, hope
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and love that brought them to this vital work. rekindle in them the passion that first called them to serve. may you, our elected representatives from every state in the our great nation, be granted today the courage of your convictionses and may your eyes, your ears, your hearts be open to the possibilities yet imagined. compassionate god, may our fellow americans remember that these, your servants, are each made in the divine image. they are our brothers and sisters in a family bridging all philosophical lines. may we treat them with respect. for we know not the hard battles they must fight. may your blessings be on our military and diplomats serving overseas. keep them safe from harm. keep their souls strong. and strengthen them to serve with honor and courage. may our prayers for kindness and
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justice, freedom and peace, be answered in our own day. men. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from texas, mr. williams. mr. williams: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and ustice for all. the speaker: without objection, arizona, woman from ms. mcsally, is recognized for one minute. ms. mcsally: arizona, thank you speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor rabbi louchheim who led us in the opening prayer. he's a rabbi at the congregation congregation or
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chadash in tucson, arizona. he moved to tucson with his wife in 1989 and been a pillar in our community ever since. having served as a rabbi at temple emanuel and executive for hand maker hospice, he's a strong advocate for peace and religious harmony. he worked close-l with the muslim community in the aftermath of september 11 and has continued to promote understanding by organizing annual muslim-jewish peace walks. he founded the first jewish christian-muslim scriptual study group in our community and contributed to interfaith literature. in a world where religion too often divides us, rabbi louchheim has shown we're all stronger together. rabbi louchheim's influence extends past receivern arizona. his influence reaches beyond this earth. the rabbi is a namesake for the only space object in the named after a rabbi. asteroid 9584-louchheim. i was honored to join rabbi louchheim in the holocaust
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remembrance walk last year. i personally witnessed his compassion and leadership in the faith community in southeastern arizona. i'm honored to welcome him to the house of representatives today and personally thank him for offering this morning's prayer. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain up to 15 further requests for one-mnt speeches on each side of the aisle. for what reasons does the gentleman from wisconsin -- the speaker: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized without objection for one minute. the speaker: my colleagues, i am proud to stand before the house today to recognize national police week. every year at this time law enforcement officials from around the country gather here to pay tribute to their fallen brethren and stand with their families. it is yet another measure of their commitment to protect and serve. over just this last year, four of wisconsin's finest have lost their lives in the line of duty. trooper anthony of the


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