Posts Tagged ‘of



18
May
14

Flashback: The Kindness of a Stranger

(Harvard, c 1988)

Source – Extracts: Mary was a newlywed and ready to move to Norway, but was stopped at the airport because she didn’t have enough money for the trip. Then a stranger turned up and paid for her.

Mary Menth Andersen was 31 years old at the time and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She was looking forward to starting a new life in Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all of her belongings across to Norway.

The date was November 2nd, 1988.

At the airport in Miami things were hectic as usual, with long lines at the check-in counters. When it was finally Mary’s turn and she had placed her luggage on the baggage line, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness.

“You’ll have to pay a $103 surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway,” the man behind the counter said.

Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call.

“I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions,” says Mary.

Although she explained the situation to the man behind the counter, he showed no signs of mercy.

“I started to cry, tears were pouring down my face and I had no idea what to do. Then I heard a gentle and friendly voice behind me saying, “That’s OK, I’ll pay for her”.”

Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before.

….She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her.

The piece of paper said ‘Barack Obama’ and his address in Kansas, which is the state where his mother comes from. Mary carried the slip of paper around in her wallet for years, before it was thrown out.

“He was my knight in shining armor,” says Mary, smiling.

She paid the $103 back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway. At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker in Chicago, and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university.

In the spring of 2006 Mary’s parents had heard that Obama was considering a run for president, but that he had still not decided. They chose to write a letter in which they told him that he would receive their votes. At the same time, they thanked Obama for helping their daughter 18 years earlier.

In a letter to Mary’s parents dated May 4th, 2006 and stamped ‘United States Senate, Washington DC’, Barack Obama writes:

“I want to thank you for the lovely things you wrote about me and for reminding me of what happened at Miami airport. I’m happy I could help back then, and I’m delighted to hear that your daughter is happy in Norway. Please send her my best wishes. Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States senator.”

The parents sent the letter on to Mary.

“It’s amazing to think that the man who helped me 20 years ago may now become the next US president,” says Mary delightedly.

Original Norwegian newspaper link

****

Mary watching Barack Obama’s first inauguration

****

It’s Sunday, so I thought I’d dust down this gem.

27
Apr
14

The President in Malaysia: An Image or Two

President Obama at the Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative Town Hall, at the University of Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur

****

****

@usembassykl: Pres. @BarackObama meeting with @usembassykl staff & American families in special meet & greet session

****

President Obama tours the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur

President Obama talks with Grand Imam Sheikh Ismail Muhammad during his visit to the National Mosque

****

President Obama & National Security Advisor Susan Rice at a bilateral meeting with Malaysian PM Najib Razake

****

President Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak smile as they participate in a joint news conference at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya

****

President Obama talks to kids as they work with computers during a visit to the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre in Cyberjaya

****

President Obama arrives at a town hall meeting at Malaya University in Kuala Lumpur

****

MoooOOOooorning!

26
Apr
14

Malaysia

@usembassykl: Pres. @BarackObama meeting with @usembassykl staff & American families in special meet & greet session

****

Coming Up

1:15 AM EDT: President Obama and Prime Minister Najib Hold a Press Conference (Audio Only)

3:55 AM EDT: President Obama Participates in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Town Hall, Kuala Lumpur

White House Live

****

President Obama tours the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur with the Grand Imam and Abdul Rashid Bin Md Isa.

26
Apr
14

President Obama in Malaysia

President Obama reviews the Guard of Honor during an official arrival ceremony with King Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah and Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razak in Parliament Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Photo by Pete Souza)

****

Coming Up

1:15 AM EDT: President Obama and Prime Minister Najib Hold a Press Conference (Audio Only)

3:55 AM EDT: President Obama Participates in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Town Hall, Kuala Lumpur

White House Live

02
Apr
14

The President and First Lady’s Day

President Obama shakes hands after addressing students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

****

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs two students from Friendship Public Charter School before planting the White House kitchen garden

****

Text of the President’s remarks here

****

Leaving Andrews this morning

****

President Obama and U.S. Rep. Gary Peter order sandwiches from restaurant worker Andrea Byl at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor

****

****

****

****

****

****

President Obama is welcomed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn after arriving aboard Air Force One at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

****

23
Mar
14

The First Lady in China

@FLOTUS: Sharing a moment at the Great Wall. http://wh.gov/lpKi6  #FLOTUSinChina

****

****

Read about the First Lady’s visit to China here

****

First Lady Michelle Obama, Malia and Sasha visit the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China, in Beijing March 23

Continue reading ‘The First Lady in China’

18
Mar
14

A Long Time Coming

President Obama applauds, from left, Staff Sgt. Melvin Morris, Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodela, and Spc. Santiago J. Erevia after he awarded them with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, March 18

****

****

More on the recipients here

****

President Obama stands with U.S. Army Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Melvin Morris as his family looks on in the Oval office before a ceremony presenting him with the Medal of Honor

****

President Obama greets U.S. Army Specialist Four (Ret.) Santiago J. Erevia in the Oval office

****

****

****

****

****

****

President Obama hugs Laurie Wegner who accepted the Medal of Honor on behalf of her uncle, Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz

****

President Obama presents Nancy Weinstein with a Medal of Honor for her late husband Army Sergeant Jack Weinstein

****

President Obama comforts Lenora Alvarado as he awards a Medal of Honor to her late father Army Specialist Four Leonard Alvarado

****

President Obama presents Dominga Perez with a Medal of Honor for her late father Army Private Pedro Cano

****

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Melvin Morris is saluted by U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Schneider, from U.S. Army Old Guard, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment, after a ceremony presenting Morris with the Medal of Honor in the White House

17
Mar
14

Medal of Honor: A Wrong Put Right

Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris

****

****

On March 18th, 2014, President Barack Obama will award 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

These veterans will receive the Medal of Honor in recognition of their valor during major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Each of these Soldiers’ bravery was previously recognized by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award; that award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor in recognition of their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

In 2002, Congress, through the Defense Authorization Act, called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran war records from WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, to ensure those deserving the Medal of Honor were not denied because of prejudice. During the review, records of several Soldiers of neither Jewish nor Hispanic descent were also found to display criteria worthy of the Medal of Honor. The 2002 Act was amended to allow these Soldiers to be honored with the upgrade – in addition to the Jewish and Hispanic American Soldiers.

****

****

The President will award the Medal of Honor to:

Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia: For his courageous actions while serving as radio telephone operator in Company C, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) during search and clear mission near Tam Ky, Republic of Vietnam.

****

Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris: For his courageous actions while serving as Commander of a Strike Force drawn from Company D, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Chi Lang, Republic of Vietnam on September 17, 1969.

****

Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela: For his courageous actions while serving as the company commander, Detachment B-36, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces during combat operations against an armed enemy in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam on September 1, 1969.

****

****

The President will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to:

Sergeant Candelario Garcia: For his courageous actions while serving as an acting Team Leader for Company B, 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry, 1st Brigade,1st Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Lai Khe, Republic of Vietnam on December 8, 1968.

****

Specialist Four Leonard L. Alvarado: For his courageous actions while serving as a Rifleman with Company D, 2d Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) during combat operations against an armed enemy in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam on August 12, 1969.

****

Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon: For his courageous actions while serving as an acting Platoon Leader in Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Ap Tan Hoa, Republic of Vietnam on April 4, 1969.

****

Continue reading ‘Medal of Honor: A Wrong Put Right’

04
Mar
14

The First Lady’s Day: International Women of Courage Awards & More

First Lady Michelle Obama recognizes singer Ruslana Lyzhychko, a leader of Ukraine‘s Maidan movement for democratic reform, as she was awarded with the US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award 2014 during a ceremony at the State Department in Washington DC, March 4

****

****

See the complete ceremony here

Text of the First Lady’s remarks here

More photos from the ceremony here

****

Fatimata Toure

During the terrorist occupation of northern Mali, Fatimata Touré channeled her 22 years of experience advocating for women’s health rights to fight resolutely against countless acts of gender-based violence. When extremists attacked the hospital in Gao, she assisted victims in relocating and finding much needed safety and care. As the conflict ensued, Mme. Touré provided counseling and shelter for victims of rape and forced-marriage and publicly denounced perpetrators of gender-based violence. Her actions drew threats from the extremists and, even as her own home was under assault, Mme. Touré hid beneath her bed and used her mobile phone to continue documenting acts of violence against women. Her limitless courage ensured that victims received medical care and that the abuse they suffered was not forgotten during the conflict. As the current head of the Regional Forum on Reconciliation and Peace in Gao, she continues advocating for justice and women’s rights.

****

Laxmi

Laxmi was 16 when an acquaintance threw acid on her face while she waited at a bus stop, disfiguring her permanently. Her attacker, a friend’s 32-year old brother, planned to use the acid to destroy Laxmi’s face after she refused to respond to his romantic advances. Many acid attack victims never return to normal life: they often go to great lengths to hide their disfigurement, many forgo education or employment rather than appear in public, and suicide is not uncommon. But Laxmi did not hide.

She became the standard-bearer in India for the movement to end acid attacks. She made repeated appearances on national television, gathered 27,000 signatures for a petition to curb acid sales, and took her cause to the Indian Supreme Court. Laxmi’s petition led the Supreme Court to order the Indian central and state governments to regulate immediately the sale of acid, and the Parliament to make prosecutions of acid attacks easier to pursue. Much is left to be done, and Laxmi continues to advocate on behalf of acid attack victims throughout India for increased compensation, effective prosecution and prevention of acid attacks, and rehabilitation of survivors.

Read more about Laxmi’s story here

****

Continue reading ‘The First Lady’s Day: International Women of Courage Awards & More’

28
Jan
14

Fired Up?

****

****

****

****

****

****

2010:

Text of address

2011:

Text of address

2012:

Text of address

2013:

Text of address

****

****

****

****

The countdown:




@POTUS

@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@MichelleObama

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • U.S. Surgeon General on WH plan to vaccinate children ages five to 11
  • Why Senate Republicans should reach out to Joe Manchin
  • Joe: GOP standing in the schoolhouse door on voting rights
  • Dr. Osterholm: We need to keep emphasizing the importance of vaccination
  • 'This class is for everybody': Garry Kasparov kicks off a chess masterclass

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 43,123,377 hits
October 2021
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031