President Trump Delivers Remarks at the Ford’s Theatre Gala


The President: Well,
thank you very much. What a place. You look right there
and that says it all. That’s history at its highest. Thank you very much
for what you’ve done. So many of you
have been so helpful. And I see Congress,
I see Senate, I see congressmen. They hate each other
during the day, but tonight
they love each other. (laughter and applause) It’s my pleasure to be with you
once again at Ford’s Theatre — the annual gala. Please join me in thanking
all of the wonderful performers who have made this
an unforgettable evening. Great talent.
Thank you very much. (applause) So tonight, we come together
to celebrate American life, history, culture, and the eternal legacy
of President Abraham Lincoln. I want to thank all of
the chairs of the gala, including your honorary
co-chair, America’s beloved First Lady. Oh, I’d love to have
her poll numbers. (applause) How do I get her poll numbers,
Kevin, John? (applause) And they do love you. We’re honored to be joined
by many members of my Cabinet — thank you very much;
and members of Congress. Many friends
and distinguished guests — very distinguished,
as a matter of fact. A special thanks to our host and
my good friend for a long time, Larry Gatlin, and his brothers,
as well as the chair of Ford’s Theatre Board of
Trustees, Phebe. Thank you very much. What a job.
What a job. Thank you. (applause) And finally to Paul Tetreault — and the way you ran
those stairs, Paul. I was going to do it but I
didn’t want to take a chance. (laughter) And the entire staff
of Ford’s Theatre, thank you very much
for everything you’ve done. This is an event
that we hope to be here — what do you figure?
— another six times, right? (laughter) Six times, at least. At least. (applause) Because we do want to preserve
this heritage and this center’s
treasured legacy. I also want to congratulate tonight’s Lincoln
Medal Recipients: a man I have
a lot of respect for, General Colin Powell,
and his wife Alma. And maybe even more respect
for you, Alma. (applause) Great job. Great job. Thank you and thank you
for your service to our nation. You have been outstanding.
Two people to really look up to. Congratulations.
Congratulations. (applause) And congratulations
as well to somebody I used to watch a lot,
Mark Russell, who has been a devoted
performer at Ford’s Theatre for many, many years.
Mark, congratulations. Congratulations to him. (applause) For decades, families
from all around the world and all around the country have come to this
very treasured place to gain a glimpse
into President Lincoln’s life, and, in so doing, into one
of the most vital chapters and probably one of
the most interesting chapters in American history. During our nation’s
greatest trial, President Lincoln
stood for truth and freedom and human equality.
As President Lincoln’s friend, the renowned abolitionist
Fredrick Douglass, said: “Abraham Lincoln
was called upon to decide the fate
of the Republic.” So true. “He did not hesitate,
he did not doubt, he did not falter…his faith
was strong” and his unwavering
in patriotism, like nobody else. And he had great patriotism
for this country and for countrymen.
That’s a — was quite a legacy, and quite a statement
from another great man. The patriotism of
President Lincoln has lived on in every
subsequent generation that has risen
to the call of destiny and
the demands of duty. This week, we are
commemorating another moment when our nation
and the entire world was tested at the highest level:
the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Right after this event, Melania and I
will board Air Force One and travel
to the United Kingdom, and then to Normandy, France. On that precious soil, we will
honor the more than 150,000 Allied troops
who landed on D-Day, and the millions more who fought
in the Second World War. As one people, America came
together to pledge our resolve to protect the sacred
rights and freedoms that these immortal patriots
gave their very lives to secure. We will never forget
America’s heroes — never, ever, ever. Our duty, and the duty
of every patriot, is to pass on the inheritance
of liberty and justice that is the cherished
birthright of all Americans. Thank you again
to Ford’s Theatre and everyone here tonight. God bless you.
And God bless America. Thank you very much
for being here. Thank you. (applause) Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you.

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