Tag archives for Inauguration
Today National Geographic Kids reporter Mallory Moore, age 12, sat down at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden to discuss this weekend’s Inauguration and the Joining Forces initiative to support military families.
Mallory kicked off the roundtable discussion by asking about why the Joint Forces initiative was important and how kids could help.
Both Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden emphasized the fact that we need to show our support, not just say that we are supporting military families. Many military families have to move a lot and we kids can help by being kind and inclusive. Dr. Biden also offered advice for kids in military families. She says that it helps to be involved in extracurricular activities like being on a sports team or working on the school newspaper. She also reminded us that even though these kids are not fighting, they are still serving so we should show our support to these families through our actions and our words and join forces to support and serve as a nation.
MRS. OBAMA: Well, for me, I came to the issue of military families in a different way from Dr. Biden. I had an opportunity to meet military families and kids when the President was first campaigning. And that was some of the first opportunities I had to go on military bases and really understand the huge sacrifice that these families make.
The average military kid goes to multiple schools over the course of going to high school; they may go to five or six or seven different schools. We just talked about one individual military kid whose father had been deployed for about half of their life. Imagine that. For half of your life your dad is away because he’s serving this country.
And I would hear those stories and I would just be overwhelmed by that level of sacrifice, and I realized that a lot of people in this country were like me– they never got to meet military families, they never got to know anything about them, so their service is something that most people don’t know about.
So I sort of follow up–I get to be First Lady. I want to take this spotlight that I have as First Lady and shine it on these individuals and make sure that the country understands that we have to show these families just how grateful we are for their service. It’s not enough for us just to say it. We have to show them, and make sure that they’re beings supported and they feel our love and support because of what they’re going through. And that’s one of the things we’re trying to do with Joining Forces.
But Jill’s experiences are very different from mine.
DR. BIDEN: I wanted to work on military families because I am a military mom and a military grandmom. And so before I was Second Lady, in my state of Delaware my husband was a senator, and so I was working with Delaware Boots on the Ground helping military families already.
So it was so great when Michelle and I got together as First and Second Lady that she said, Jill, what do you want to work on? And I said, I want to work on military families, and she said, I want to work on military families, too. So it was so great that this was an issue–Michelle has her issues that she likes to work on, and I have mine that I like. But this is one that we share together, so it has–it’s great for both of us because then we get to spend a lot of time together which is nice as well.
MALLORY: Well, what do you like to read?
MRS. OBAMA: You know what, I like to read–I read a great book–I don’t get a chance to read that often. Jill is–she is always recommending great books, but by the time I get into bed I can read a page and I fall asleep. But I read this wonderful mystery that was really very good. So mysteries are good. I love fictional history. I just love a good book, a good story. So it’s almost–it really doesn’t matter. I’m pretty open-minded.
And last summer I read a lot of the old classics with Malia, as she’s getting to the age of reading The Catcher in the Rye and Tender is the Night. So we’ve read some of those. All of our family read together Life of Pi, which is our family’s favorite book, and we watched the movie, which we loved, Life of Pi. That was the other movie that I saw–Life of Pi. I remembered. So I love Life of Pi, because it was also something that we shared as a family, and it was a great story of adventure and fantasy.
MRS. OBAMA: Do you guys want to be journalists?
MALLORY: A book reviewer, maybe.
MRS. OBAMA: You want to be a book reviewer? What’s your favorite book?
MALLORY: To pick one, well, I guess it would be the one I last read, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
DR. BIDEN: I just bought that.
MALLORY: Yes, it’s really interesting. It’s an interesting perspective.
What question would you ask Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden?