U.S. President Barack Obama today proposed a toast at APEC Leaders dinner at Hale Koa Hotel Honolulu, Hawaii.
President Obama welcomed the APEC 2011 delegates at Honolulu, Hawaii.
“We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow, and we have a luau tonight, including hula dancing. So I want to be brief.” -President Obama
Presidents Obama said there are 21 leaders from across the Asia Pacific. He said the 21 countries represent close to 3 billion people, from different continents and cultures; North, South, East and West; men and women of every faith, color and creed.
“Yet whatever our differences, our citizens have sent us here with a common task: to bring our economies closer together, to cooperate, to create jobs and prosperity that our people deserve so that they can provide for their families, so that they can give their children a better future.” -President Obama
President Obama stressed that it was America’s turn to host APEC. He added he could not imagine a more fitting place than his home state of Hawaii.
“Here, we are literally in the center of the Pacific. Here, we’re reminded of the progress that’s possible when people of different backgrounds and beliefs come together. This is the most diverse state in our nation, home to so many races and immigrants and Americans who trace their roots back to many of your countries.” -President Obama
He said Hawaii is not perfect, but he thinks Hawaii is a true melting pot of cultures, where people live and work together in mutual trust and mutual respect.
He noted that in Hawai, all are single “‘ohana – “one family. He said beneath the surface, behind all the different languages and some very long names, all share the same hopes, the same struggles and the same aspirations. He added that they have learned that they are more likely to realize their aspirations when the pursue them together.
“That’s the spirit of Hawaii. It’s what made me who I am. And so I’d like to propose a toast with the words of a traditional Hawaiian proverb: “A’ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia”. And that means, no task is too big when done together by all.” – President Obama