This week, President Obama spoke about the threat posed by ISIL and commemorated the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we marked the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the First Lady hosted a "prep" rally in Atlanta.
Check out what else you may have missed this week in our weekly wrap up.
On Wednesday evening, from the State Floor of the White House, President Obama spoke to the American people about our comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
ISIL was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq and has since infiltrated territories on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. Although ISIL calls itself the “Islamic State,” the President highlighted that:
ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. ... It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.
In his remarks, the President outlined the four key components of the United States’ strategy to defeat ISIL:
The President reiterated and assured the American people that “If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
On Thursday, the President, First Lady, and Vice President joined Americans across the country to mark the anniversary of 9/11 through acts of service and remembrance.
At 8:46 a.m. ET -- the time that the first plane hit the World Trade Center -- the President, First Lady, and Vice President observed a moment of silence to honor the memories of those lost in the horrific acts of terror that took place 13 years ago.
In the afternoon, the President and the First Lady joined Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, servicemen and women, survivors, and the families of victims at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. The President and the First Lady later took part in a service project to honor the victims, families, and loved ones touched by the tragedy.
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act -- a groundbreaking piece of legislation that helped change an era in American history. On Tuesday, speaking in front of the U.S. Constitution at the National Archives, the Vice President explained just how far we’ve come since the passage of the bill:
"Even just 20 years ago," he said, "few people wanted to talk about violence against women as a national epidemic, let alone something to do something about."
While we’ve made great strides in addressing heinous crimes against women, the Vice President made it clear that we’re not done with this fight:
When violence against women is no longer societally accepted, no longer kept secret; when everyone understands that even one case is too many. That’s when it will change.
On Tuesday, as part of her Reach Higher Initiative, the First Lady joined Secretary Arne Duncan at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta to help kick off the Department of Education's annual back-to-school bus tour.
At the “prep” rally, the First Lady encouraged students to follow their dreams:
So if there is anybody telling you that you’re not college material -- anyone -- I want you to brush them off. Prove them wrong. I want you all to ask for help. Ask your teachers, your counselors, your coaches, your friends –- I don’t care who it is.
As the last stop on his trip to Estonia and the NATO Summit in Wales, President Obama took a stroll around the prehistoric monument Stonehenge -- and really enjoyed his time there:
“I would come here, and if it wasn’t a monument, I would sit on one of these rocks and I’d just watch the sunrise,” the President said. “It would really cleanse your mind.”
Want to see even more? Be sure to check out the White House blog and this week’s episode of West Wing Week: