White House Congressional Picnic

June 15, 2011 | 2:37 | Public Domain

President Obama welcomes members of Congress to the White House as he and the First Lady host the annual White House Congressional picnic.

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Remarks by the President at Congressional Picnic

South Lawn

7:20 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!


THE PRESIDENT:  Welcome to the White House.  First of all, I take full responsibility for the weather.  (Laughter.)  What a spectacular day for a congressional picnic.  This is always one of the best events of the year for us, mainly because with all the work that we do with members of Congress and their staffs, all too often we don’t get a chance to say thank you to the families. 

And we understand that public service is tough on the families; in some ways, tougher.  You've got spouses who are away from home, moms or dads or grandpas or grandmas who don’t get a chance to see you as often as they’d like.  And so this is just one modest way for us to say to all of you, thank you for the enormous contributions you make to the country.  We are thrilled with everything that you guys do each and every day to make this country stronger and more secure and more free.

It is good to see a lot of familiar faces here.  I hope everybody is getting enough to eat.  We don’t want to make a long speech, but I do hope that the spirit of community that is so evident on a day like today, that this carries over each and every day.  We've got Democrats here and the Republicans here, and we all have differences on issues at every given moment, but the one thing that we have to remind ourselves every day is we’re all Americans and we’re all part of the American family.  (Applause.) 

So, finally, the last point I’d make is we’ve got some service members here who helped to not only play the banjo and make some wonderful music, but folks who serve each and every day.  For all of those who serve our country in uniform, thank you so much and God bless you.  We’re all grateful to you.  (Applause.)  All right?

So you guys have fun.  And I want you guys to eat until you can’t eat any more.  (Laughter.)  All right?  And then tomorrow you can "Let’s Move."  (Laughter.)  All right.  Thank you very much, everybody.  Appreciate it.  (Applause.)

7:22 P.M. EDT

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