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Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Trump Marks Memorial Day with Arlington Visit

Trump Marks Memorial Day with Arlington Visit

"To every Gold Star family who honors us with your presence, you lost sons, daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers ... they each had their own stories, their own lovely dreams ... they were all angels sent to us by God", he said. He died in a gun battle with the Taliban near the Pakistan border three months into his deployment. To John, Karen, Heather, Kate, Andrea, and the entire Kelly family, today, 300 million American hearts are joined together with yours.

Accompanied by Pence, Trump walked briefly among the white marble headstones and greeted families, including Brittany Jacobs and her 6-year-old son, Christian, who was dressed like a Marine. And he singled out his homeland security secretary, John Kelly, for whom military sacrifice could not be any closer to home. He also hailed Bob Dole, the former senator who suffered lifelong injuries in World War II and attended Monday's ceremony.

Gen. Kelly's son Robert Kelly, a United States Marine like his father, was killed by an IED blast in 2010 while on patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. "While we can not 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 story is one of selflessness, it is one of courage, and it is one of sheer commitment", he said.

Following Trump's 20-minute address, he, Vice President Mike Pence and Kelly toured Arlington's Section 60 - where the fallen of Afghanistan and Iraq are laid to rest.

Horton's widow, Jane, and Byers parents, Rose and David, were at the ceremony and the president promised that America's gratitude to them "is boundless and undying". "If we truly want to give meaning to the sacrifice of those who gave all on our behalf, each of us will leave here today determined to find, in some small way, a method of serving our nation and our communities in their honor", he said.

Trump's remarks at the Memorial Day ceremony was his first public appearance since returning from a nine-day foreign trip. A son-in-law, Jake, is a wounded warrior.

A somber Trump, clad in a dark blue suit buttoned over a light blue striped tie, placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, and paused for several seconds with his eyes closed, and his hands still on the wreath, before stepping back and standing at attention while a U.S. Army bugler played taps just a few feet away.

Before speaking to a crowd at the Arlington National Cemetery, the president sang along to the National Anthem.

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