President Donald Trump gave a speech to a joint session of Congress held on Feb. 28. He vaguely mentioned some of the promises he made in his campaign and reached out to the nation in a way that had not been displayed before.
In the aftermath of the vandalism to Jewish cemeteries and the Kansas City shootings, Trump offered words of consolation to those affected by the recent events.
Trump’s comments sought to unify the American people, acknowledging the nation’s divisiveness and said, “We may be a nation divided on policies, but we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.”
With one executive order after another and the fallout from the “travel ban,” Trump’s first month has been tumultuous. For many, it has caused fear and for others it has brought comfort.
In his speech, he stated, “We want all Americans to succeed. We must restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders.”
Calling on law enforcement and Congress to help enforce border laws, he made it clear that he had no intentions of backing down on his plans to build the wall along the U.S
Although there was as much praise and support shown from Republicans in attendance as there was disdain and disagreement among Democrats, Trump appeared for the first time, to be presidential in his attempt to bring the two sides together.
With shoulders squared and a tentative tone, he spoke of America’s 250-year anniversary approaching and asked the question, “What will America looklike at 250?” Although the anniversary is nine years away, the 45th president expressed hopes of unity for the future, saying it feels like, “Impossible dreams are firmly within our grasp.”
He drew much applause throughout the night, but the display of one set of sentiments brought both parties to their feet: When he publicly offered condolences to a visibly emotional Carryn Owens, the wife of Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens who lost his life during a raid in Yemen ordered by Trump on Jan. 29.
“Ryan is looking down right now and he’s very happy. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, for our freedom and we will never forget Ryan,” Trump said.
It was the first military casualty of his presidency but it was as if he had finally found common ground with both parties. “Our vets have delivered for this nation and now we must deliver for them,” he said.
The speech came with a different tone as he offered comments of hope, courage, unity and confidence: a renewal of the American spirit. For Trump, the solution still seems quite clear: “America must put its citizens first.”