President Obama saluted graduates of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy today as some of the nation’s key “first responders,” helping protect Americans on challenges ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.
“We know that the complex missions of the Coast Guard have never been more important,” Obama told the Class of 2011.
Obama noted that the Coast Guard led rescue efforts after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the Haiti earthquake, and last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Even today, Obama noted, the Coast Guard is helping people trying to cope with flooding from the Mississippi River.
The Coast Guard plays a key role in anti-smuggling operations involving everything from drugs to weapons; it works with port authorities in other countries throughout the globe.
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