Pool Report #4

From: Chris Johnson
Date: May 29, 2017 at 12:02:24 PM EDT
Subject: Pool Report #4

POTUS entered the amphitheater at 11:15, joining the official party to the sound of the "Hail to the Chief" and applause.

Beginning his remarks at around 11:30, POTUS in honor of Memorial Day paid tribute to America's fallen troops, saying words cannot express "the purity of their love of the totality of their courage."

POTUS observed both the sacrifice of the fallen as well as their families.

"Special, special people," POTUS said.

Among the losses POTUS acknowledged was the loss of DHS Secretary John Kelly's son Robert in Afghanistan.

"Today, 300 million American hearts are joined together with yours," POTUS said.

Acknowledging Gold Star families in general, POTUS said "they were angels sent to us by God, and they share one title, the title of hero."

POTUS also the military service during WWII of former Sen. Bob Dole, who was present with his wife Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

POTUS told the stories of other fallen troops. One of them, Andrew Byers, died in Afghanistan protecting an Afghan soldier and U.S. troops after running through a "hail of bullets" to rescue them, POTUS said. POTUS recognized his parent David and Rose Byers in the audience.

Also noted by POTUS was a service member named Chris. POTUS recognized his wife Jane who was present. Your pooler missed Chris' last name.

"To every Gold Star family, God is with you and your loved ones are with Him," POTUS said.

"Their stories are now woven into the soul of our nation, into the Stars and Stripes of our flag and into the beating hearts of our great, great people," POTUS said.

POTUS also recognized the Unknown soldiers, saying they "fought and died in a greet and noble act."

POTUS concluded his remarks at 11:51 and was escorted back to motorcade.

The first speaker at the event was Chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunlap, who urged attendees to "do something more" than mark the graves of fallen service members on Memorial Day and "find a method" of serving the nation.

Introducing POTUS was Defense Secretary James Mattis, who called Arlington Cemetery the place of "America's courageous dead" and told his audience to remember the fallen with acts in their memory.


Chris Johnson
Washington Blade

Chief Political & White House Reporter
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