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  • WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: Celebrating Easter and Passover


    Office of the Press Secretary


    EMBARGOED UNTIL 6:00 AM ET, SATURDAY, April 19, 2014

    WHITE HOUSE VIDEO MESSAGE: Celebrating Easter and Passover

    WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s video message, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications to the First Lady María Cristina González Noguera commemorates the celebration of Passover and Easter. 

    Remarks of María Cristina González Noguera

    Spanish Weekly Address

    The White House


    Hi, everybody.  For millions of Americans, including many Hispanic families, this time of year holds great meaning. 

    Earlier this week, we hosted a Passover Seder at the White House, and joined Jewish families around the world in their retellings of the story of the Exodus and the victory of faith over oppression. 

    And this Sunday, the President, the First Lady, Malia and Sasha, will join our fellow Christians around the world in celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, the salvation he offered the world, and the hope that comes with the Easter season.

    These holy days have their roots in miracles that took place long ago.  And yet, they still inspire us, guide us, and strengthen us today.  They remind us of our responsibilities to God and, as God’s children, to one another.

    For countless other Christians, Holy Week and Easter are times for reflection and renewal.  We remember the grace of an awesome God, who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son, so that we might live through Him.  And we recommit ourselves to following His example, to love and serve one another, particularly “the least of these” among us, just as He loves every one of us.

    The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  To remember, I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.  Whatever your faith, believer or nonbeliever, there’s no better time to rededicate ourselves to that universal mission. 

    Easter is a story of hope – a belief in a better day to come, just around the bend.

    So to all Christians who are celebrating, Happy Easter. And to every American, have a joyful weekend.

    Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless this country we love.


    The audio of the address and video of the message is available online HERE.

  • President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

    • General Larry R. Ellis, USA (Ret.) – Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
    • Howard Z. Borin – Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
    • Grace Tsao-Wu – Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars

    President Obama said, “These dedicated and accomplished individuals will be valued additions to my Administration as we tackle the important challenges facing America. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

    President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

    General Larry R. Ellis, USA (Ret.), Appointee for Member, American Battle Monuments Commission
    General Larry R. Ellis, USA (Ret.) has been President and CEO of VetConnexx, LLC since 2013, a company that provides career opportunities for veterans based in Atlanta, Georgia.  He is also President and CEO of ESSE, LLC, a facilities management consulting company.  He was President and CEO of Point Blank Solutions, Inc. from 2005 to 2009.  General Ellis served in the Army from 1969 to 2004, and achieved the rank of Four Star General in 2001.  He served in numerous command and leadership positions in the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, South Korea, and Vietnam.  He is a member of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, the Morgan State University Board of Regents, and the Armed Forces Benefit Association.  His awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, and the NAACP National Service Award.  General Ellis attended the U.S. Army War College and received a B.S. from Morgan State University and an M.S. from Indiana University.

    Dr. Howard Z. Borin, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
    Dr. Howard Z. Borin is a Board Certified Pediatrician.  He most recently worked as Physician in Charge at the Nemours Hospital for Children satellite office in Delaware from 2007 to 2012.  From 1997 to 2007, Dr. Borin was the Physician in Charge for the first outreach program for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Prior to that, Dr. Borin ran his own pediatric practice from 1971 to 1997.  From 1970 to 1971, Dr. Borin was a Registrar at the Hospital for Sick Children of Great Ormond Street in London, England.  Dr. Borin completed his residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  He was named among the Best Doctors in America by Best Doctors, Inc. from 2007 to 2012, and has been ranked numerous times as among the Top Doctors in Delaware by Delaware Today Magazine.  Dr. Borin received a B.A. and an M.D. from Indiana University. 

    Grace Tsao-Wu, Appointee for Member, Commission on Presidential Scholars
    Grace Tsao-Wu is currently a Partner at Laudi Vidni, a position she has held since 2009.  From 1994 to 2014, Ms. Tsao-Wu was the founder and owner of her own business, Tabula Tua.  She is on the board of One Million Degrees, an organization that empowers low-income, highly motivated community college students to succeed in school, work, and life.  She is also on the advisory board of the Chinese American Service League.  Prior to this, Ms. Tsao-Wu worked for Kraft Foods from 1990 to 1993 and Price Waterhouse from 1983 to 1988.  Ms. Tsao-Wu received a B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. 

  • Statement by the President on Easter Weekend

    This weekend, Michelle and I join our fellow Christians in marking Good Friday and celebrating Easter.  We will reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us and rejoice in the triumph of the Resurrection.  This season reminds us that God is always with us, in suffering and in celebration.  We give thanks for the many blessings in our lives and renew our commitments to follow Christ’s example by loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves.  We wish all who celebrate a blessed Easter.

  • Executive Order -- Expanding Eligibility for the Defense Meritorious Service Medal

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Executive Order 12019 of November 3, 1977 (Establishing the Defense Meritorious Service Medal), is amended by inserting ", or to any member of the armed forces of a friendly foreign nation," after "any member of the Armed Forces of the United States".


    April 18, 2014.