White House Week

6.6.15

This week, President Obama paid tribute to Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden who passed away. Read his moving statement below.

Michelle and I are grieving tonight.  Beau Biden was a friend of ours.  His beloved family – Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter – are friends of ours.  And Joe and Jill Biden are as good as friends get.
Beau took after Joe.  He studied the law, like his dad, even choosing the same law school.  He chased a life of public service, like his dad, serving in Iraq and as Delaware’s Attorney General.  Like his dad, Beau was a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched – and he lives on in their hearts.
But for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family.
Just like his dad.

Joe is one of the strongest men we’ve ever known.  He’s as strong as they come, and nothing matters to him more than family.  It’s one of the things we love about him.  And it is a testament to Joe and Jill – to who they are – that Beau lived a life that was full; a life that mattered; a life that reflected their reverence for family.

The Bidens have more family than they know.  In the Delaware they love.  In the Senate Joe reveres.  Across this country that he has served for more than forty years.  And they have a family right here in the White House, where hundreds of hearts ache tonight – for Hallie, Natalie, and Hunter; for Joe and for Jill; for Beau’s brother, Hunter; his sister, Ashley, and for the entire Biden clan.

“I have believed the best of every man,” wrote the poet William Butler Yeats, “And find that to believe it is enough to make a bad man show him at his best or even a good man swing his lantern higher.”

Beau Biden believed the best of us all.  For him, and for his family, we swing our lanterns higher.
Michelle and I humbly pray for the good Lord to watch over Beau Biden, and to protect and comfort his family here on Earth.

President Barack Obama stands with Ina Judith Bass (left) and Elise Shemin-Roth as the citation is read awarding the Medal of Honor posthumously to their father, Army Sergeant William Shemin, for conspicuous gallantry during World War I, at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, June 2, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
This week at the White House, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army Sergeant William Shemin and Army Private Henry Johnson for conspicuous gallantry during World War I.

Sergeant Shemin entered the Army on October 2, 1917. He was assigned as a rifleman to Company G, 47th Infantry Regiment, which moved from Syracuse, New York to Camp Greene, North Carolina, joining the 4th Infantry Division. The Division arrived in France in May, 1918.

Private Johnson entered the Army on June 5, 1917. He was assigned to Company C, 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment, an all-black National Guard unit that would later become the 369th Infantry Regiment. The Regiment was ordered into battle in 1918, and Private Johnson and his unit were brigaded with a French Army colonial unit in front-line combat.

Command Sergeant Major Louis Wilson accepts the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama awarded posthumously to Army Private Henry Johnson for conspicuous gallantry during World War I, at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, June 2, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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