President Obama addressed the nation early Thursday afternoon from the Edgartown School, providing an update about the situation in Iraq and calling for "peace and calm" in Ferguson, Mo., where there has been growing civil unrest after the shooting of an 18-year-old man.
It was the second time in four days the President has made public statements from the Vineyard, where he is on vacation for 16 days.
During a nine-minute speech, the President said that while the situation remains dire for Iraqis, American efforts, including airstrikes, have helped improve the situation at Mount Sinjar, where thousands of people were trapped by Islamic militants.
"As commander in chief I could not be prouder of the men and women of our military who carried out this humanitarian mission almost flawlessly," the President said.
Mr. Obama said he has been briefed by Attorney General Eric Holder, who is also on the Vineyard, about the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where there have been protests and confrontations between police and residents after Michael Brown was shot by police Sunday.
The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating Mr. Brown's death, he said, and the Department of Justice has also been talking with local authorities in Missouri about maintaining public safety and avoiding unnecessary escalation of the situation.
The President said he has also talked with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, whom he called a "good man and a fine governor."
He said there is never an excuse for violence against police nor is there excuse for police to use excessive force. He also said police should not be arresting journalists for doing their jobs. There were reports Wednesday night that two reporters were arrested in Ferguson.
"Remember how this started," the President told about 50 members of the press assembled in the school cafeteria, which is serving as the press filing center during his vacation. "We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances . . . his family will never hold Michael in their arms again."
After the address, which ended at about 1 p.m., the President headed to the Vineyard Golf Club, down the road from the school. He is playing with Cyrus Walker, World Bank president Jim Kim and former ambassador Ron Kirk.