USA — Obama Visits Troops at New Fisher House

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2010 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma vis­it­ed grave­stones at the Lin­coln Ceme­tery near Chica­go today, but when tor­ren­tial rains can­celled his pre­pared Memo­r­i­al Day remarks, paid a stop at a new­ly opened Fish­er House.

The pres­i­dent laid a wreath and bowed his head in silence at the his­toric ceme­tery, and had just stepped to the podi­um to deliv­er his speech as dri­ving rain turned to light­ning and offi­cials called off the event.

The pres­i­dent had planned to present a speech call­ing vet­er­ans and ser­vice­mem­bers “liv­ing memo­ri­als” to their fall­en com­rades, and pledg­ing that a grate­ful nation will pro­vide them and their fam­i­lies the sup­port they deserve, accord­ing to a tran­script of the speech pro­vid­ed to reporters in advance.

He had planned to pay spe­cial trib­ute to those killed in the cur­rent wars, includ­ing 17 buried at the his­toric ceme­tery near Chica­go. Their lega­cy, he had planned to say, lives on through their loved ones, their com­rades and a nation that enjoys the free­doms for which they sac­ri­ficed.

Oba­ma trav­eled from the ceme­tery to the new­ly ded­i­cat­ed Fish­er House in Hines, Ill., where he met with ser­vice­mem­bers and vet­er­ans receiv­ing med­ical care at the Edward Hines, Jr. Vet­er­ans Affairs Hos­pi­tal, as well as their fam­i­lies.

The Hines Fish­er House is the first in Illi­nois and was offi­cial­ly ded­i­cat­ed May 28. It was donat­ed to the VA by the Fish­er House Foun­da­tion as a home away from home for fam­i­lies of vet­er­ans and mil­i­tary mem­bers receiv­ing treat­ment at the VA hos­pi­tal.

Oba­ma donat­ed $250,000 of the Nobel Peace Prize award he received in March to the Fish­er House Foun­da­tion.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)