President Trump placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns on Monday and paid tribute to America’s fallen servicemen – including the son of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
Leading solemn Memorial Day ceremonies for the first time as commander in chief, Trump told mourners at Arlington National Cemetery that Americans have a duty to honor Gold Star families every day the sun rises.
“Words cannot wipe away the tears or bring back those smiling faces. But if Americans just take the time to look into your eyes, and tell you how much we thank you, and how dearly we pray for you, and how truly test then hopefully you can find solace through your pain,” Trump said.
“And every time you see the sun rise over this blessed land, please know your brave sons and daughters pushed away the night and delivered for us all that great and glorious dawn.”
Trump singled out for praise three fallen heroes, killed fighting terrorists in Afghanistan since 2010 – Marine 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly (2010), Army Specialist Christopher Horton (2011) and Army Capt. Andrew Beyers (2016).
‘We grieve with you, we honor you, and we pledge to you that we will always remember Robert and what he did for all of us,’ the president said.
Kelly is the son Homeland Secretary and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly.
“Let us also tell the stories of Robert, Chris, Andrew, and all of America’s fallen warriors today, and for the next 1,000 years,” Trump said.
“And while we cannot know the extent of your pain, what we do know is that our gratitude to them and to you is boundless and undying. Boundless and undying.”
Two days earlier, John Kelly teared up on TV while discussing his son, who was killed in while leading his platoon on a combat patrol and stepped on a concealed roadside bomb.
“Finest man I ever knew,” Kelly said, as he began to choke up with emotion on Fox News.
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.
The president chatted with a woman visiting one of the tombstones.
“I so appreciate…” Trump could be overheard telling the woman.
She said her loved one’s “name was Jimmy.”
Moments later, Trump stopped for a young man who wanted to snap a picture of himself with the president.
“Your father would be so proud of you,” Trump told him.
Trump left flowers at Lt. Kelly’s grave in Section 60.
When a reporter asked Secretary Kelly what this day meant to him, he replied succinctly: “Sad.”