First Lady Michelle Obama applauds the staff members at the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday morning, Feb. 26, 2009, thanking them for their work during her visit to the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Along with thanks and congratulations, First Lady Michelle Obama today appealed to employees of the Environmental Protection Agency to strive for excellence for the sake of the next generation.
"I've often spoken about my most important job -- being a mom -- and like mothers and fathers everywhere, the health and safety of our children is our top priority," the First Lady said on a visit to EPA headquarters
. "This is what it is all about: the future. And in many ways, it starts with all of you. You ensure that the water we drink is safe, that the air we breathe is clean, and that the polluted fields and abandoned factories in our neighborhoods all over this nation are cleaned up and restored."
Hundreds of employees turned out to see the First Lady, whom EPA administrator Lisa Jackson introduced as "an icon" of grace, class and style. And some took heart in what the First Lady assured them would be "a new day" at the EPA.
"We are just thrilled to be working for an administration that respects the work we do, environmental work but public service more specifically," said Beth Hall, who works in the ground water and drinking water office (pool report).
A staff member wipes away tears as she meets First Lady Michelle Obama at the Enivironmental Protection Agency Thursday morning, Feb. 26, 2009, where Mrs. Obama thanked the employees for their hard work during her visit to the EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. (White House photos 2/26/09 by Joyce N. Boghosian)