President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump honored America’s Wounded Warriors Thursday during a White House ceremony.
The ceremony was part of the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride, a four-day motorcycle event that united veterans from across the country.
With Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence at his side, Trump said the event was to “pay tribute to America’s warriors. I call them America’s winners because they are winners.”
“You’ve risked all that you have, all that you possess to keep our people safe and our democracy secure,” Trump said, speaking directly to the veterans at the event, as well as those across the nation. “You’ve earned our freedom with your sweat and your blood and your incredible sacrifice.”
“We salute you; we salute your incredible service and we salute the flag you have … protected,” he said, adding, “We love our flag. Thank you.”
Trump said the story of the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride “is the story of America and the strength of its citizens” as he saluted those who created and continue to support the project.
He joked that he was happy to keep the project’s visit to the White House a tradition, saying, “I should have it for about seven more years.”
Trump also took a moment to thank the nation’s police force.
“Most of all, I’m proud to stand here today before all of you and share with the nation the depth of our gratitude and the height of our total admiration for these folks, our veterans, for anyone in uniform, and this includes our great men and women in blue,” he said.
Trump noted that in times of crisis, America’s citizen-soldiers “rise to the occasion like nobody can rise to the occasion.”
“Our way of life continues because of men and women who are willing to sacrifice anything and everything to protect their fellow warriors; to protect all of us,” Trump said.
He ended with a blessing.
“May God bless you, may God bless our incredible country, may God bless our warriors, and let’s have a great ride, because tell you what, I couldn’t do it,” Trump said.
In an interview with Fox & Friends before the ceremony, Trump noted “we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for” veterans and promised to “take care of them.”
“They have not been taken care of properly. David [Shulkin], who you know is the new secretary [of Veterans Affairs], is going to do a fantastic job. He has a group of people with him and the enthusiasm is incredible. You see it already the results already have been incredible.”
“He wants to get good people, I will tell you,” Trump added. “He wants to get good people … and it’s time because the VA has not done so well.”
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