President Donald Trump participated in a Memorial Day ceremony at Fort McHenry on Monday, where he paid tribute to fallen heroes and the symbolism of the American flag.
“We pledge in their memories that this majestic flag will proudly fly forever.”
Trump’s speech began by recognizing the “immortal souls who died to keep us free” more than 200 years ago.
Fort McHenry was the site of the 1814 Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. American forces successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from the British and killed the enemy commander. That battle to defend American soil was depicted in Francis Scott Key’s writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
“We come together to salute the flag they gave their lives to so boldly and brilliantly defend. We pledge in their memories that this majestic flag will proudly fly forever,” Trump said.
“We remember the young Americans who never got the change to grow old, but whose legacy will outlive us all.”
Trump then recognized the heroes of the American military throughout its history.
“The dignity, daring and devotion of the American military is unrivaled anywhere in history and any place in the world,” he said.
“As one nation, we mourn alongside every single family that has lost loved ones, including the families of our great veterans,” Trump continued. “Every time we sing our anthem, every time its rousing chorus swells our hearts with pride, we renew the eternal bonds of loyalty to our fallen heroes.”
“We think of the soldiers who spend their final heroic moments on distant battlefields to keep us safe at home. We remember the young Americans who never got the change to grow old, but whose legacy will outlive us all,” he said.
“For as long as our flag flies in the sky above, the names of these fallen warriors will be woven into its threads.”
“The Star-Spangled Banner still proudly waves. For as long as our flag flies in the sky above, the names of these fallen warriors will be woven into its threads. For as long as we have citizens willing to follow their example, to carry on their burden, to continue their legacy, then America’s cause will never fail, and American freedom will never, ever die,” Trump said on Monday.
“Today, we honor the heroes we have lost. We pray for the loved ones they left behind, and with 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.”
Trump was accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, among several other administration members.
Earlier on Monday, Trump honored the fallen during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.