Washington, DC…My fellow Americans, This week, our nation was shocked and horrified when a gunman opened fire on a Member of Congress. Five people were wounded in the assault, including a member of House Leadership – my good friend, Steve Scalise. Steve is beloved across Washington, he embodies everything public service is about – he’s dedicated to his constituents, devoted to his values, and deeply committed to his country. I visited Steve, his wife, and his family in the hospital as he continues to fight for his recovery. 435 Members of Congress, and 300 million Americans, are pulling for him, praying for him, and pledging to him our full and total support.
We continue to hold all of those wounded and fighting for recovery in our hearts and prayers, including Matt Mika, who was also badly wounded.
In that terrible crime, we also witnessed the incredible heroism of Capitol Police. Special Agent Crystal Griner – who I also had the honor of meeting during my visit to the Hospital – raced into gunfire, along with Special Agent David Bailey. They saved the lives of our Members of Congress and prevented that dark day from becoming a tragedy beyond imagination. They, like so many other courageous police officers, represent the very best of us. We salute them, and we also salute members of Alexandria Police, Fire and Rescue.
Though we have our differences, what unites us is so much stronger: our love of country, our devotion to its people. Now more than ever, these values must guide us – and bring us closer together. Let us always remember that our job is to serve and represent the whole American People – and that we are all children of the same God.
This week, my Administration continues our focus on providing economic opportunity for all.
On Thursday, I signed an Executive Order to launch a groundbreaking new Apprenticeship Initiative that will help young Americans learn the skills they need to find a rewarding career, earn a great living, and support themselves and their families.
We are celebrating the dignity of work and the greatness of the American Worker.
American citizens have worked every job, every occupation, no matter what it might be – no matter how grueling, how challenging, or even how dangerous. They wash the windows on our tallest skyscrapers; they create works of art from burning fire and molten steel; they mine the earth and dive the ocean depths to bring energy into our cities and towns; they care for the sick, the elderly, and the wounded; and they lay the bricks, mortar, rebar, and concrete that give us places to live, to work, and to thrive.
Today, this is the message I want every young American to hear: there is dignity in every honest job, and there is nobility in every honest worker.
Our Apprenticeship Initiative will make it dramatically easier for employers, industry groups and unions to create exciting new apprenticeship programs that place students into high-paying careers.
Instead of being racked with crushing student debt, those who participate will earn while they learn – think of that: earn while they learn.
Under our plan, young Americans will have a pathway to exciting and fulfilling careers. They will become brilliant technicians who revitalize American manufacturing. They will become welders who forge from fire amazing works of iron and steel and art. And they will become entrepreneurs who revolutionize entire industries. And these striving American citizens, including millions of talented young American women with tremendous potential, will become the programmers who change the world with the next great technological advance.
Every American deserves a path to a great job that they truly love. That begins with the right education – one that gives students the foundation for a lifetime of success.
Every day, as your President, I will be committed to this goal.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.