Colorado Springs, CO…In this week’s address, President Obama spoke to the American people from Colorado, where he had just finished touring areas impacted by the devastating Waldo Canyon fire, meeting with first responders as well as families affected by the fires. The President thanked the brave firefighters and countless volunteers who are providing food, water, and shelter to those in need, and made clear that his administration will continue to bring all resources available to assist efforts to combat the fires. The federal government has marshaled thousands of firefighters, hundreds of fire engines, and more than 100 aircraft, including 19 airtankers that are available for us as of today, to support firefighting efforts in a number of Western states including Colorado.
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Colorado Springs, CO
June 30, 2012
Hello, everybody. I’m here in Colorado Springs, visiting some of the devastating fires that have been taking place over the last several days. As many of you have been watching on television, entire communities are under threat. And we had a chance to tour some of the devastation that has been taking place in some of the subdivisions here.
Firefighters are working 18 hours a day, around the clock, trying to make sure that they get this blaze under control. We’ve got volunteers who are out here who are making sure that these firefighters have the food and the water and all the resources that they need. And we’ve been engaging in some unprecedented coordination between federal, state, and local communities to try to bring this fire under control.
And one of the things I’ve done here, in addition to saying thank you to these firefighters, is to let them know that all of America has their back. One of the things that happens, whether it’s a fire here in Colorado, or a tornado in Alabama or Missouri, or a flood or a hurricane in Florida, one of the things that happens here in America is when we see our fellow citizens in trouble and having difficulty, we come together as one American family, as one community. And you see that spirit and you see that strength here in Colorado Springs, where people are working together, promising each other to rebuild. We’ve got to make sure that we are there with them every step of the way, even after this fire is put out.
So for those of you who can provide some help, you should get on the online site of the American Red Cross. They’re very active in this community and you can make your contributions there. We’re going to continue to make sure that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Forest Service, our military and National Guard and all the resources that we have available at the federal level are brought to bear in fighting this fire.
But this is a good reminder of what makes us Americans. We don’t just look out for ourselves; we look out for each other. And one of the things that I told these firefighters is that we can provide them all the resources they need, but only they provide the courage and the discipline to be able to actually fight these fires. And it’s important that we appreciate what they do not just when our own communities are struck by disaster. It’s important that we remember what they do each and every single day, and that we continue to provide support to our first responders, our emergency management folks, our firefighters, our military — everybody who helps secure our liberty and our security each and every day.
So, America, I hope you guys remember the folks during these times of need. I know this is a little bit unusual — we don’t usually do weekly addresses like this, but I thought it was a good opportunity for us to actually focus attention on a problem that’s going on here in Colorado Springs. We never know when it might be our community that’s threatened, and it’s important that we’re there for them.
Thank you very much.