I’m going to be upfront and admit it. I was in that small percentage of military people who loved military ceremonies. The ceremonies are what link generations of soldiers together. When you understand that the 30-inch step at the pace of 120 steps per minute was brought to the American Army by von Steuben at Valley Forge it has meaning. Similarly honoring our fallen brothers is a tradition that goes back to the dawn of history. So I’m a sucker for the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the iron discipline of the Old Guard keeping watch 24/7.
Here’s President Trump at the Tomb of the Unknowns today.
And this is his speech.
What I think is really interesting is that he recognizes the personal story of Homeland Security John Kelly. As you know, Kelly is a retired USMC 4-star. What you might not know is that Kelly’s youngest son, Robert, was killed in Afghanistan and another son, John, is a USMC major with several deployments under his belt. It’s a little-known fact that the modern military is very much a family business and members of the Armed Forces, particularly the officer corps, are very, very likely to come from military families.
This is some of the speech:
Trump honored Gold Star families calling their fallen loved ones “angels sent to us by God,” in his first public address since returning from his first trip overseas as commander-in-chief.
“They all share one title in common—and that is the title of ‘hero’—real heroes,” Trump said. “Though they were only here for a brief time before God called them home, their legacy will endure forever.”
Trump went on to honor former Sen. Bob Dole and his wife, former Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and other Gold Star families and service men and women in the audience.
“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—will always be there, Thank you,” Trump said. “Their stories are now woven into the soul of our nation, into the stars and stripes on our flag, and into the beating hearts of our great, great people.”