President Donald Trump presided over a brief White House south lawn ceremony honoring the United States and military men and women on Tuesday in lieu of a previously planned event that members of the Philadelphia Eagles dropped out of.
The United States Marine band played and the U.S. Army Chorus sang the National Anthem for the crowd. Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Rep. Lou Barletta, and Rep. Mike Kelly attended the event and all received thanks from the President.
“I’d love to have a voice like that, what a voice,” Trump said after thanking those performing and the administration officials in attendance.
The Pledge and National Anthem at today’s White House event that became a tribute to America and those who serve pic.twitter.com/vzW8R7YNIH
— Michelle Moons (@MichelleDiana) June 5, 2018
“We love our country. We respect our flag. and We always proudly stand for the National Anthem, we always will stand for the national anthem” President Trump said to applause from the crowd.
Trump thanked those gathered for the “patriotic celebration.”
The President then launched into explaining why Americans should stand for the playing of the National Anthem:
We stand to honor our military, and to honor our country and to remember the fallen heroes who never made it back home. We stand to show our love for our fellow citizens and our magnificent Constitution. We stand to pay tribute to the incredible Americans who came before us and the heroic sacrifices they made.
America’s a great nation, a community, a family. And America is our home and we love our home
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2018
He went on to highlight the economic successes achieved under the Trump administration — record low unemployment rates for African American, Hispanic, and female Americans.
“We’ve created seven trillion dollars of value in our country since the election,” said Trump. “We’re the largest economy in the world and getting a lot larger and fast,” he added it was quicker than he had thought.
The crowd cheered and applauded as President Trump began talking about the military men and women, past and present, being honored, “Some of them are right here. Many of them are looking down right now at our country and they are proud.”
“So we stand together for freedom. We stand together for patriotism. And we proudly stand for our glorious nation under God,” Trump closed thanking the crowd for attending the event and said that it was a larger crowd than he had expected.
Originally the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles were scheduled to be celebrated at the White House on Tuesday, but when a significant number withdrew from the event in the days prior, the White House changed the event to honor America and the military.
One heckler that arose early on was booed down by other attendees. One person knelt during the anthem.
The event closed with the band playing “God Bless America” and audience members waving small American flags in the air.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana