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Blue Room
12:29 P.M. EST

MRS. TRUMP:  Thank you.  Good afternoon.  It is wonderful to see all of you again.

The President and I enjoyed hosting everyone with the National Governors Association here at the White House last night.  And I hope you all had a lovely evening.

This is the second time we have been able to spend time together at the spouses’ luncheon, and I’m honored to host you all today.

Before I begin, I want to be sure we take a moment to reflect on the horrific shooting in Florida.  Our continued thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by such a senseless act.  As a parent, I cannot imagine the kind of grief and tragedy like that brings.

And I hope, and I know, we all find ourselves wondering what we can do to help.  In my year as First Lady, I have also learned that it’s oftentimes after a tragedy that you see the strength and resilience of the human spirit.  I have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create change.  They are our future, and they deserve a voice.

I know all of you are seeing this in your own states and territories, too.  And I believe that if we all come together, we can start to effect positive change for our children and help prepare them for their futures.

As I have said before, it is important that, as adults, we take the lead and the responsibility in helping our children manage the many issues they are facing today.  This means encouraging positive habits with social media and technology; even limiting time online and understanding the content they are exposed to on a daily basis.

This also means taking the time to teach them about the real dangers in drug abuse and addiction.  This country is in the middle of an opioid crisis.  Let’s use that grim reality as a tool to stop this epidemic.

Before you leave to go back to your wonderful states and territories, I’m asking you all to join me today and commit to promoting values such as encouragement, kindness, compassion, and respect in our children.

With those values as a solid foundation, our kids will be better equipped to deal with many of the evils in our world today, such as drug abuse and addiction and negative social media interactions.

In my role as First Lady, I want to nurture and protect the most valuable part of our society and our future: children.  I hope you will join me today in my efforts and ask for your support.  My office will be reaching out to many of you in the future, as we travel the country and work to promote and fight for the wellbeing of our children.

Thank you all for being here today, and thank you for all that you do for your home states and territories.  God bless each of you and your families.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)


12:32 P.M. EST