"On Wright Brothers Day, we reflect on their astonishing feat and celebrate the ambition it still inspires more than a century" after they flew their aircraft above the dunes of Kitty Hawk, N.C., Obama said in a proclamation.
"Like so many Americans before and after them, these two men achieved the unthinkable, and their achievements changed our way of life," Obama said of the brothers who grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where they owned a bike shop that eventually expanded so they could manufacture their own models.
"As they mastered their craft, they turned their attention skyward," Obama wrote. "With their game-changing feat, the Wright brothers earned their place in history as innovators who helped trigger America's rise as an economic superpower, and whose example inspired the kind of businesses and industries that built and grew our middle class."
"As we mark Wright Brothers Day," Obama said, "let us carry their legacy forward by taking on new challenges with tenacity and meeting our hardships with courage, confident that our shared future is bright and our best days are still ahead."