Posts Tagged ‘President’

President Obama will present the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom to 16 recipients tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12. Three of this year’s awardees were speakers at the World Affairs Council and the Global Philanthropy Forum in 2008: former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Muhammad Yunus.

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On this historic day, many of us across the country and around the world are full of reflection and hope. Such was the mood here among staff, as we followed the proceedings live from our auditorium.

Much of President Obama’s long-anticipated inauguration speech rang true with the mission and spirit of our organization, particularly in the below excerpt:

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

Our Council and GPF communities are enriched by this same diversity.  And we are dedicated to celebrating these differences through education, enabling us to realize our shared humanity.

Congratulations to our new President and Vice President, and to their families.  We look forward to a new era under their leadership.

Watch Vice President Joe Biden’s speech here at the Council in May 2007.

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