July 05, 2019
On Thursday, President Donald Trump delivered a speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial during a 45-minute “Salute to America” speech.
“As we gather this evening, in the joy of freedom, we remember that we all share a truly extraordinary heritage,” said the president in his speech. “Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told – the story of America.”
The President honored the history of the United States and notable figures who “defined the national character,” including Martin Luther King Jr., “the great” Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Jackie Robinson, acknowledging Clarence Henderson, who was in the crowd and had participated in a sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C. as part of a 1960 civil rights protest. “Clarence, thank you for making this country a much better place for all Americans,” said the president. The crowd applauded, and Henderson rose and saluted the crowd.
Trump went on the praise innovations in science, medicine, and space exploration, and called out audience members such as Emil Freireich, a doctor who revolutionized the treatment of childhood leukemia. Trump promised “we will plant the American flag on Mars” because “for Americans, nothing is impossible.” Addressing retired NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz, the president said, “Gene, I want you to know we will be back on the moon – and someday soon we will plant the American flag on Mars!”
The president celebrated all branches of the military and extolled their heroism and sacrifice as aircraft from each service conducted flyovers over the National Mall. Two M1A2 Abrams tanks and two M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles were parked on the Mall for visitors to see, and Airforce One even made an appearance during a flyover.
– MK. II