President Trump at Kennedy Center POTUS ONLY CSPAN July 2, 2017 9:51pm-10:28pm EDT
pastor, you and amy have stood with us since the very beginning, and i will always stand with you. i have told you that and i mean that. i will always be with you. i appreciate it. thank you. [applause] you atm honored to join the first-ever fourth of july freedom rally taking place here at the kennedy center as we take you to those who have proudly served our nation in uniform. thank you very much. [applause] tonight we have been inspired by music that fills our hearts, stirs our souls, and reminds us all of who we are -- one nation under god. [applause]
the first baptist music director , and to every musician and member of the choir who has performed with such incredible grace and skill -- and i heard them backstage and said, let me out there. that is the most beautiful music. [applause] beautiful. i just want to say that your music honors our heroes more eloquently than words could ever do. i just want to thank you. that is real talent standing behind me. thank you, folks. [applause] let me say to the hundreds of veterans with us tonight that for my very first independence day celebration as president, there is no place i would rather be than with you.
i will tell you that. [applause] and i promise you -- and you see it happening day by day -- just the other day we signed veterans accountability. they have been trying to do it for 40 years. [applause] for 40 years they have been trying. you couldn't fire somebody. they were doing a terrible job for the veterans. robbing, stealing, hurting people. you couldn't do anything. it is called the veterans accountability act, and now you fired.""you're [applause]
thank you. i promise you we will always take care of our great veterans. always. right, louis? better believe it. and paula is up there. paula white has been so helpful. thank you. i love you too, actually. [applause] you've shed your blood. you've
poured your love. you've bared your soul in defense of our country come our people, and our great american flag. your loyalty to our nation is measured not merely in words, but in deeds. you race through gunfire, stare down enemy forces, and ran past the gates of hell to fight and to win for america, and you won
for america, and we are going to take care of it. [applause] thank you. the story of america's men and women in uniform is the story of freedom and overcoming oppression, the strong protecting the weak, and the good defeating evil. there's a lot of evil out there. i want to tell you, there's a lot of evil. i was left a mess, the fact is. that we are cleaning it up -- but we are cleaning it up, you watch. cleaning it up. [applause] cleaning it up. by your service and to thecrifice, and so veterans here tonight, which there are many, would you please stand right now? please stand. thank you.
we love our families, we love our freedom, and we love our god. [applause] since the signing of the declaration of independence 241 years ago, america always affirmed that liberty comes from our creator. our rights are given to us by god, and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. [applause] that is why my administration is transferring power out of washington and returning that power back to where it belongs, to the people. [applause] to the people.
we won and they lost. press hass the destroyed themselves because they went too far. instead of being subtle and hatchet, andse a the people saw it right from the beginning. media will never keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our great american people. it will never happen. [applause] agenda is not your agenda. you've been saying it. i will never stop fighting for you. on trade, on the economy, on the supreme court, on the second amendment, on our
military, for our veterans, and on our borders, where we are doing record stoppage. [applause] thank you. and we are supporting our incredible police and law enforcement. [applause] we will save american lives, protect american sovereignty, and we will ensure the forgotten men and women of our country are never forgotten again. [applause]
for too long, politicians have --ed -- oh have they tried to centralize authority among a small few in our nation's capital. i see them all the time. bureaucrats think they can run over your lives, overrule your meddle intal in -- ith and tell you how to , and how too say pray. but we will create a thriving society. [applause]
we know that families and churches -- not government best how to know create a strong and loving community. [applause] and above all else, we know this. and america will we don't worship government -- in america, we don't worship government. we worship god. [applause] >> usa, usa, usa. pres. trump: our religious in the is enshrined first amendment of the bill of
rights. he american founders invoke our creator four times in the declaration of independence. benjamin franklin reminded his colleagues at the constitutional convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer. i remind you that we are going "merryt saying christmas" again. [applause] inscribed on our currency are the words "in god we trust." but not only has god bestowed on us the gift of freedom, he has also given us a gift of heroes
willing to give their lives to defend that freedom. you just stood. [applause] in every struggle against evil throughout our history as america's servicemembers have huddled around campfires and , they refuge in foxholes called on their creator for support. in world war ii, when general george patton -- that was a real general. tonse got some pat today, too. i found them. mad dog mattis. [applause] and he doesn't like doing a lot of talking, but i want to tell you, isis is a whole different ballgame, folks.
they are going fast. patton ran into a problem he couldn't solve, he knew what to do. he prayed. frustrated by rains that were stalling the advance of his third army across europe in 1944, pattonr asked an army chaplain to come up with a good prayer for the weather. patton then had one quarter of a million copies of that prayer printed and distributed to the soldiers of the third army just before the battle of the bulge. that was a bit one. -- that was a big one. did very well there. american soldiers fought in that pivotal battle of the second world war. one of those soldiers is here with us tonight. 's name is harry -- his name is
harry f miller. where is harry? harry, stand up. [applause] like many of the heroes of his generation, harry wasn't exactly straightforward about his age. when he enlisted in the army reserve -- shame on you, harry -- [laughter] -- he was just 15, but he told them he was old enough to join. immediately asked for a transfer
to active duty. six months after he enlisted, private miller was on his way to europe to fight for our country. [applause] a couple of months after that he was in the freezing cold -- how cold wasn't -- was it? he said really cold. and in the rains of belgium with the 740th tank battalion attached to the 82nd airborne. at the battle of the bulge began, harry got his orders to go find tanks at a weapon storage facility. when he arrived, he says he and his friends found nothing that tanks -- nothing but tanks. they were all over the place. but they didn't let the tanks stop them.
out of what spare parts they could find and through sheer grit and resolve, they somehow managed to repair three of those tanks and get them set for action and ready to fight. before long, those three tanks were nose to nose with the lead elements of a german division. that was tough stuff. in a short time, those tanks had not out the first three tanks of the enemy and the entire german division retreated. they left. [applause] that's good, harry. that's good, harry. harry.y, harry,
[applause] carey fought -- pres. trump: harry fought through the rest of the war and went to serve for our armed forces for 22 years, retiring as a senior master sergeant. a lot of guts. harry will be 89 tomorrow. [applause] so on behalf of this very large group in this beautiful building , senior master sergeant miller, happy birthday. thank you for your lifetime of service, and thank you for helping out. thank you very much, harry. [applause]
to every veteran with us tonight from every branch of the navy, marines, air force, and coast guard, i want you to know that we will always keep our promises to those who have kept us free. since my very first day in office, we have taken one action after another to make sure that our veterans get the care they so richly deserve. we have published wait times. those wait times were bad, weren't they? but boy are they getting better, and fast. we published them at every v.a. facility, delivered same-day mental health services at every v.a. medical center, nearly double -- [applause] -- the number of veterans given approval to see the doctor of
their choice. [applause] and as i said, just signed, brand-new legislation went through the house, the senate, and i signed it so fast. we didn't want to take any chances, right, harry? to ensure every v.a. worker is held accountable for the quality of care they provide to our veterans. [applause] tonight we are deeply honored to be joined by another -- by a number of wounded warriors from walter reed. i was over there recently. these are incredible people. the enthusiasm and the spirit and some of them who were hurt really badly, they've got so much spirit, and they love this country so much. these american heroes risked
everything so that you and i can live in freedom. they gave all they had. everything. for their comrades, their country, and for victory. they like winning. we like winning again, don't we? [applause] in the old days, we used to win. we just kept fighting and fighting and fighting. we are going to win again, folks. we admire their strength, their courage, and we really support that incredible went they have -- that incredible wind they have. -- will is a stroke strong is so strong, and they want to win. they want to win for you. thank you for being here. that's great. [applause] captain luis is
avella. where is he? luis? we love you, luis. -- luis, wow. [applause] luis is here tonight, along with his wife claudia. thank you, claudia. thank you, darling. thank you. thank you. [applause] luis served in the army for 16 years. he held many different positions on five combat tours, and was always a leader. -- i'vey always said done some checking on you --
that you did a great job no matter where you were, no matter where you went. on his fist employment, luis bravely led his company on a successful mission to recover vital intelligence. during this critical mission, his vehicle was struck by explosives. luis was gravely wounded and lost his leg. he received a purple heart for his service and sacrifice. we willand claudia, never forget the courageous sacrifice that you made for all of us in this room tonight, and for everyone in our country. thank you. thank you, luis. [applause]
i want you all, and all of our incredible wounded warriors to know, you have an entire nation of more than 300 million people behind you, and our nation is getting strong again. do you know this? getting strong again. our hearts and our prayers are joined with yours. your legacy, like our gratitude, will live forever, and i want to thank you. thank you very much. and claudia, thank you very much. thank you. [applause] i also want to speak to all of the people -- you thought i forgot -- in our faith community who are here with us tonight, veterans and nonveterans alike. [applause]
you are never going to be forgotten. you will never be forgotten. my administration will always support and defend your religious liberty. [applause] god forcednt to see out of the public square, driven out of our schools, or pushed out of our civic life. we want to see prayers before football games if they want to give prayers. [applause] right? we want all children to have the opportunity to know the
blessings of god. we will not allow the government to censor sermons, to restrict the free speech of our pastors and preachers and the people that we most respect. [applause] like robert. that is why, just as i promised, pastor jefferies and other faith anders, i just signed executive order following -- and this is something that makes me very happy and very proud -- following through on my campaign pledge to stop the johnson amendment from interfering with your first amendment rights. [applause]
as long as i am president, no one is going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what is in your heart. we want to hear him. [applause] most grave and dire threats to religious freedom in the world today is the threat of , itorism, and specifically seems it is called radical islamic terrorism. [applause] thise cannot allow terrorism and extremism to spread in our country or to find
sanctuary on our shores or in our cities. [applause] we want to make sure that anyone who seeks to join our country shares our values and has the capacity to love our people. [applause] think you. -- thank you. together we will protect our families, our nation, and our borders -- and yes, by the way, for those who are curious, we will the wall -- we will build the wall, ok? [applause] because we understand that a
country is more than just its geography. a nation is the sum of its citizens, their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations. america is a land rich with history, traditions, values, and as we have seen tonight -- what a group this is tonight -- america is also a land rich with heroes. [applause] and though we have many stories, we all share one home and one glorious destiny, a destiny that is getting better and better every single day. [applause] and whether we are black or brown or white -- and you have heard me say this before -- we
-- and, we will scare you see it all the time, and we are doing it all the time -- we are scaling those summits, and we will get the job done. [applause] we will all prove worthy of this very important moment in history , and we will prove worthy of the sacrifice that our brave veterans have made. as long as we have pride in our beliefs, courage and our convictions, and faith in our -- couragel not fail in our convictions, and faith in our god, we will not fail. [applause] remainsas our country true to its values, loyal to its
heroes, and devoted to its days arethen our best yet to come because we will make america great again. [applause] to my friend pastor jefferies, and to paula and louis and hairy luis, andry and everyone in this room, and everyone in this country, thank you for your great support. i appreciate it. i will not let you down. to all of our incredible veterans, to the people in the military, and to evangelical