Trump honours fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

Donald Trump honours fallen soldiers on Memorial Day

US president Donald Trump has honoured the country’s fallen service personnel on Memorial Day.

He spoke about the resolve of Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic in a ceremony at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.

Earlier, he had silently honoured the nation’s war dead at a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Speaking in Baltimore, Mr Trump said: “Together we will vanquish the virus and America will rise from this crisis to new and even greater heights.

“No obstacle, no challenge and no threat is a match for the sheer determination of the American people.”

Presidents typically lay a wreath and deliver a speech at the hallowed burial ground in Virginia but because of the pandemic, which is expected to claim its 100,000th American victim this week, the ceremony looked different this year.

Many attendees arrived wearing masks but removed them for the outdoor ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Mr Trump, maskless as always in public, gave no remarks.

He approached a wreath already in place, touching it and giving a salute.

Mr Trump then travelled to Baltimore, to the chagrin of the city’s mayor, and noted tens of thousands of service members and national guard personnel are currently “on the front lines of our war against this terrible virus”.

The US leads the world with more than 1.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 97,000 deaths, according to a tally by John Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Mr Trump said warriors from the nation’s past have shown that “in America, we are the captains of our own fate”.

The Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is closed to the public because of the pandemic.

Mayor Bernard C “Jack” Young objected to Mr Trump’s visit, saying it sends the wrong message about stay at home directives and the city cannot afford the added cost of hosting him when it is losing 20 million dollars (£16.4 million) a month because of the pandemic.

But Mr Trump is intent on accelerating his schedule as he portrays the country as returning to its pre-pandemic ways.

This month, he has toured factories in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan that make pandemic supplies.

He plans to be in Florida on Wednesday to watch two Nasa astronauts rocket into space and he played golf at his private club in Virginia on Saturday and Sunday.

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