Middle East Trip: Last Friday, President Obama wrapped up his visit to the Middle East. The President paid respects with a visit to Mount Herzl where he honored two Jewish heroes, Theodor Herzl and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Then President Obama took a tour of Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Complex.
Later, President Obama joined Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the West Bank where they toured the crypt containing the birthplace of Jesus.
The President then traveled to Jordan, the final stop of his trip, where he was greeted at Al-Hummar Palace in Amman by King Abdullah II and his son, Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah. The President participated in an official welcoming ceremony followed by a series of events in Jordan.
Remembering Sandy Hook: On Thursday, President Obama promised Americans he had not forgotten about the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. Standing with parents and teachers of gun violence victims, the President pressed Congress to pass legislation to protect our children and our communities.
And I want to make sure every American is listening today. Less than 100 days ago that happened, and the entire country was shocked. And the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different. Shame on us if we've forgotten. I haven't forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we've forgotten.
In January, the President put out a series of common-sense proposals to reduce gun violence. Download the plan here.
Spirit of America: On Monday, President Obama gave remarks at a naturalization ceremony for 28 active duty service members and civilians who came to the United States from all over the globe, “from Nigeria to Nicaragua, from the Philippines to Peru.”
“But what binds you together -- what binds us all together -- is something more meaningful than anything of that,” said President Obama. “A love for this country and all that it represents -- that’s what unites each and every one of you.”
President Obama called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
Learn about the President’s proposals here.
First Female U.S. Secret Service Director: On Wednesday, President Obama swore in Julia Pierson as the first female director of the U.S. Secret Service. With President Obama watching, Vice President Biden administered the oath at the swearing-in ceremony.
"I have to say that Julia’s reputation within the Service is extraordinary," said the President. “She’s come up through the ranks. She’s done just about every job there is to do at the Secret Service."
African Leaders: On Thursday, President Obama welcomed four African leaders -- President Sall from Senegal, President Banda from Malawi, President Koroma from Sierra Leone, and Prime Minister Neves from Cape Verde. Through democratic governments and expanded human rights, the four leaders have exemplified the progress in Africa. President Obama thanked them for their tireless work and ensured the United States will be a partner in progress:
“You should know that you have a great friend in the United States, in the people of the United States, and in the President of the United States, because we believe that if you’re successful, that ultimately will help us grow our economies and contribute to a more peaceful world, as well.”
New National Monuments: On Monday, President Obama celebrated our nation’s rich history and national heritage by signing proclamations establishing five new national monuments. The landmarks are in Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, and Washington. Each commemorates extraordinary events in our nation’s history, while preserving our natural resources for future generations.
“These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country,” said the President. “By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come.”
President’s Passover Message: On Monday, President Obama shared his warmest wishes to all celebrating Passover at home, in Israel and around the world. The President touched upon the importance of Passover and looking to the future to better our world.
During his Middle East trip, the President reaffirmed the strong bond between Israel and the United States declaring, “the United States of America stands with the State of Israel because it is in our fundamental national security interest to stand with Israel. It makes us both stronger. It makes us both more prosperous. And it makes the world a better place.”
City of Champions: On Wednesday, President Obama honored the Stanley Cup champion LA Kings and MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy. This marks the second year in a row the Galaxy have come to the White House to celebrate a championship, while the Kings are new visitors to the White House. The Kings enjoyed their first Stanley Cup in franchise history last season. Watch the full ceremony here.