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South Lawn

3:03 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, everybody.  Appreciate it.  I want to thank the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus for that incredible performance.  Their voices are — I’d love to have a voice like that.  What a voice.

We love our country.  We respect our flag.  And we always proudly stand for the National Anthem.  (Applause.)  We always will stand for the National Anthem.

It is my great pleasure to welcome everyone to the White House for this patriotic celebration.  A beautiful, beautiful day, and a beautiful celebration.

I also want to thank our great Vice President, Mike Pence — (applause) — thank you, Mike — for joining us, along with Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary Ryan Zinke, Representative Lou Barletta, who — hopefully, Lou Barletta will be your next senator from the great state of Pennsylvania.  (Applause.)  It is a great state.  Representative Mike Kelly.  Thank you, Mike.  Great to see you.

I want to take this opportunity to explain why young Americans stand for our National Anthem.  Maybe it’s about time that we understood.  We stand to honor our military and to honor our country, and to remember the fallen heroes who never made it back home.  We stand to show our love for our fellow citizens and our magnificent Constitution.  We stand to pay tribute to the incredible Americans who came before us and the heroic sacrifices they made.  America is a great nation — a community, a family.  And America is our home, and we love our home.

And our country has never done better than it’s doing right now.  Never.  Record numbers at every outpost.  You take a look at what’s going on:  Lowest unemployment numbers we’ve had.  Lowest African American unemployment in the history of our country.  Lowest Hispanic numbers in the history of our country.  Lowest numbers for women in 21 years.

We’ve created $7 trillion of value in our country since the election.  We’re the largest economy in the world, and getting a lot larger, and fast.  It’s happened very quickly.  Actually, quicker than I even thought.

We’re doing great.  (Applause.)  And all of those people that we honor, many of them are looking down right now.  Some of them are right here.  But many of them are looking down right now at our country, and they are proud.  They are very, very proud.

So we stand together for freedom.  We stand together for patriotism.  And we proudly stand for our glorious nation under God.

I want to thank you all for being here.  This is a beautiful, big celebration.  Actually, to be honest, it’s even bigger than we had anticipated.

So I want to thank you very much.  And God bless America.  Thank you, everybody.  Thank you.  (Applause.)


3:07 P.M. EDT