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The Lincoln Awards: Stepping Up for Our Veterans & Military Families

This week, the Lincoln Awards in Washington, D.C. honored individuals who have provided numerous opportunities to and displayed continued support for our nation’s veterans and military families.

Nearly 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address. He declared our nation’s pledge “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and for his orphan.”

This week at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the first-ever Lincoln Awards recognized individuals and organizations for their impactful contributions to and continued support for our nation’s veterans and military families.

The two-day celebration concluded with an all-star concert, kicked off by Dr. Jill Biden:

As a military mom, there is nothing more special to see -- and to recognize -- than a community of people coming together for our nation’s veterans. And not just to support veterans, but to inspire others to go to their strengths, and find ways that they, too, can make a difference in the lives of these heroes.

One thing we say in my family is that our country has one sacred obligation -- to equip those we send to war, and to care for them and their families when they return.

First Lady Michelle Obama and I started the Joining Forces initiative to show our appreciation for those who serve -- because we want every veteran to get the care they have earned, the skills they need, and the employment opportunities they deserve.

No, not every American wears the uniform, but every American can rally around those who have. That’s what the Lincoln Awards celebrate.

God bless our troops. God bless those who care about them, and care for them.