Jill Biden unveils dedicated showcase of art by military children in the White House East Wing

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Artwork by military children decorates a display in the East Colonnade of the East Wing at the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. First lady Jill Biden on Tuesday announced the Military Children's Corner at the White House, an installation that will feature art dedicated to America's military children. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

WASHINGTON – Visitors to the White House have something new to feast their eyes on, and perhaps learn from, too.

Jill Biden unveiled a new display, The Military Children's Corner, in the East Wing hallway on Tuesday, featuring artwork by children from military families. It is part of her White House initiative, called Joining Forces, to support military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors.

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The White House said the first lady hopes it will help the public learn about the 4 million kids whose parents are active-duty service members, National Guard or reservists, or veterans.

The first lady was one of those kids; she's the daughter of a Navy signalman. Two of her grandchildren also were tied to the military through their father, Beau, who served in the Delaware Army National Guard. He died of brain cancer in 2015 at age 46.

“They may not wear a uniform, but they serve our country, too,” Biden said in a written statement, adding that art by the military children she has met in recent years was like a “window into their own lives.”

“Inspired by their stories of kindness, ingenuity and strength, I wanted to bring their art and talents to the White House,” she said. “As visitors enjoy The Military Children's Corner, I hope they also take a moment to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our military families.”

The initial display, located along the East Colonnade, features work by 11 artists, ranging in age from 8-19 and living at U.S. military installations in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and Japan. It is among the first displays that tourists and other visitors entering the White House through the East Wing entrance will see. The artwork will be updated quarterly.

The display also features art by Rosita, of Sesame Street, whose father, Ricardo, is a veteran who uses a wheelchair after he was injured during military service.

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