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VOA Celebrates 70 Years

Obama hails ‘voice of freedom’

Current and past U.S. international broadcasting officials were in Washington today to salute Voice of America on its 70th anniversary.

Among them was Walter Roberts, age 95, last surviving member of the group that organized the first broadcasts to Germany in World War II.

President Obama sent a birthday message to the international broadcasting agency calling it a “voice of freedom” that reminds people living in repressive societies that “they are not alone.”

VOA went on the air Feb. 1, 1942.

According to a VOA summary, Obama said millions of people “draw hope and strength” from VOA broadcasts. “In the face of foreign governments that censor, you provide news that’s accurate and objective. In the face of regimes that deny universal rights, you stand for freedom and democracy,” it quoted him saying.

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