Obama lauds service members at July Fourth picnic

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the extraordinary sacrifices by U.S. service members are keeping America safe and free.

And he says there's no other group of people that he and first lady Michelle Obama would rather spend time with on the Fourth of July than America's men and women in uniform.

Obama addressed a crowd of hundreds of military families gathered on the White House South Lawn on Friday for an all-American barbecue and concert sponsored by the USO. Music will be provided by the rapper Pitbull. The families will also get to see the fireworks on the National Mall.

Obama noted that July Fourth is always a special day for his family for reasons apart from the nation's founding.

It's the birthday of his older daughter, Malia. She turned 16.

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