President Donald Trump visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery early Monday before traveling to give a public address at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where he praised the sacrifices of veterans throughout history.
“We come together to salute the flag they gave their lives to so boldly and brilliantly defend,” Trump said at the fort, which successfully defended itself from the British in the War of 1812 and inspired the words in the national anthem. “We pledge, in their cherished memories, that this majestic flag will proudly fly forever.”
After commending the sacrifices of the nation’s veterans, Trump transitioned to remarks about the “new form of battle against an invisible enemy” — the moniker he has given to the coronavirus — and highlighted the role the national guard and others have played in fighting the pandemic.
“Once more the men and women of the United States military have answered the call to duty and raced into danger,” said the president, who noted that the national guard and others have delivered supplies and helped care for patients.
“Together, we will vanquish the virus and America will rise from this crisis to new and even greater heights,” Trump told a small crowd of people, who were sitting at a distance from one another. “As our brave warriors have shown us from the nation’s earliest days, in America, we are the captains of our own fate.”
Over 1,667,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least 98,100 people have died as of Monday evening, according to The New York Times.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden also publicly commemorated Memorial Day in his first in-person appearance since Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dropped out of the presidential race. During the appearance, Biden visited a veterans memorial near his home in Delaware to lay a wreath, along with former Second Lady Jill Biden.
According to The Associated Press, Biden had not made a public appearance since he abruptly cancelled a March 10 rally in Ohio. Within a week of the cancellation, Trump declared a national emergency and the first local governments in the nation started to issue shelter-in-place orders.
During Trump’s memorial day speech, the president observed that “for as long as we have citizens willing to follow” the example of veterans who came before us, “to carry on their burden, to continue their legacy, then America’s cause will never fail, and American freedom will never ever die.”
“Today we honor the heroes we have lost,” continued Trump. “We pray for the loved ones they left behind, and as God as our witness, we solemnly vow to protect, preserve and cherish this land they gave their last breath to defend and to defend so proudly.”
The president posted a short video of his appearance at Arlington National Cemetery on Twitter, and his full Memorial Day speech can be watched below:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 25, 2020