Memorial Day: Donald Trump Honors Fallen Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery

Trump said. "I believe that God has a special place in heaven for those who laid down their lives so that others may live free".

This year, Memorial Day coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of America's 35th president - John Fitzgerald Kennedy. "They were people who stood for something larger than themselves", he said. Bob Dole, who was severely wounded in action during World War II.

Trump placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at a Memorial Day ceremony, in advance of his first Memorial Day remarks as president.

"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.

Even during the ceremonial playing of "Taps", a song to honor the fallen military men and women of our country, smartphones were more common among the crowd than salutes or bowed heads.

The president then climbed the steps above the tomb to the cemetery's marble amphitheater, where he delivered his address. Trump has been feeling particularly aggrieved in recent weeks by federal and congressional investigations into contacts between his associates and Russian government officials, including news reports that Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and top White House adviser, proposed establishing secret back-channel communications with Russia during the presidential transition.

Vice President Mike Pence attended the ceremony, along with Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis, and Homeland Security Secretary Gen. John Kelly, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford. Afterward, he visited a section of the cemetery where military members killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. Kelly at his son's graveside.

"It is Memorial Day 2017", Pence said. Six-year-old Christian Jacobs' father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, died during military training exercises in Twentynine Palms, Calif., in 2011.

He will speak just before 11 a ceremony in which he will also lay a wreath at the cemetery where USA military members are buried. "Their story is one of selflessness, it is one of courage, and it is one of sheer commitment", he said.

Trump dedicated his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

  • Larry Hoffman