Remarks by the President at the 18th Annual Gala for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
5:46 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Thank you. Everybody, please, please, have a seat. Have a seat. You’re making me blush. (Laughter.) Mahalo!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Thank you, Norm, for that kind introduction. More importantly, thank you for your lifetime of distinguished service to our country. I want to thank all the members of Congress who are with us — including two people who are fighting hard every day on behalf of every member of this community — Judy Chu and Mike Honda. Give them a big round of applause. (Applause.)
Now, I am thrilled to be here tonight because all of you hold a special place in my heart. When I think about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, I think about my family — my sister, Maya; my brother-in-law, Konrad who’s in the house somewhere — (applause.) I don’t know where Konrad is. My nieces Suhaila and Savita. I think about all the folks I grew up with in Honolulu, as part of the — (applause) –
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Aloha! (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: As part of the Hawaiian ohana. I think about the years I spent in Indonesia. So for me, coming here feels a little bit like home. This is a community that helped to make me who I am today. It’s a community that helped make America the country that it is today.
So your heritage spans the world. But what unites everyone is that in all of your families you have stories of perseverance that are uniquely American. Some of you — those from Hawaii or the Pacific Islands — (applause) — live where your family has lived for generations and your story is, in part, about keeping alive treasured native traditions. But for others, your story starts with ancestors who, at some point, left behind everything they knew to seek the promise of a new land. Maybe the story traces
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