President Donald Trump offered a solemn tribute to America’s soldiers during a Memorial Dayspeech at Arlington National Cemetery Monday, honoring those who gave their lives in war and those currently serving in defense of the country.
“Here at this hallowed shrine, we honor the noblest among us, the men and women who paid the ultimate price for victory and for freedom,” said Trump. “We pay tribute to those brave souls who raced into gunfire, roared into battle, and ran into hell to face down evil. They made their sacrifice not for fame, or for money, or even for glory, but for country.”
From the podium of the cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater, the commander-in-chief relayed stories of those who served and urged Americans to continue with the day’s theme of remembrance. “We can never replace them. We cannot repay them. But we can always remember. And today, that is what we are doing,” Trump said. In the speech, Trump paid tribute to Army Spc. Christopher Horton; Special Forces Captain Andrew Byers; and Marine First Lt. Robert Kelly, the son of Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, whose family members were in attendance.
“And while we cannot know the extent of your pain, what we do know is that our gratitude to them and to you is boundless and undying,” Trump said to the Gold Star families. During last year’s presidential campaign, Trump notably engaged in a dispute with the Gold Star family of Captain Humayun Khan, who spoke out against the Republican presidential nominee in a Democratic National Convention speech.
Trump decried being “viciously attacked” by the Muslim family and questioned why Ghazala Khan did not speak as she stood next to her husband Khizr at the convention, during which they said the candidate had “sacrificed nothing” for the country. Trump’s comments later received push-back from members of both major political parties.
On Monday, Trump also made special mention of former Kansas Senator Bob Dole, thanking Dole for his service in World War II and sat in the audience at today’s ceremony. Earlier in the morning, the president visited the cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where he placed a wreath and had a moment of silence as a bugle player performed “Taps.” Trump’s remarks at the Memorial Day ceremony was his first public appearance since returning from a nine-day foreign trip. (ABC News.com)