President Trump stuck to the script at his “Salute to America” event, striking a patriotic tone in a largely apolitical speech running approximately 45 minutes — including the flyovers — behind bulletproof glass on the National Mall.
The President took an opportunity to boast, calling the US “the most exceptional nation in the history of the world.”
“Our nation is stronger today than it ever was before. It is its strongest now,” he said.
He recognized each branch of the military at the beginning of his speech: “The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and, very soon, the Space Force.” (On a related note, Trump also vowed to soon “plant the American flag on Mars.”)
His remarks were filled with historical references — from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington to Abraham Lincoln, and later, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright Brothers, and Clara Barton.
In his conclusion, he struck a tone of unity, saying, “We will never forget that we are Americans and the future belongs to us. The future belongs to the brave, the strong, the proud and the free. We are one people chasing one dream and one magnificent destiny.”
Then, the military band played a formal rendition Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be an American” – one of the President’s favorites — while one more Navy Blue Angel plane flew overhead. Trump shook hands with some military officials and waved before he left the stage.