Standing in front of both houses of Congress, and the entire nation via broadcast, President Donald Trump delivered praise, requests, lists of achievements, and emotional moments Tuesday evening, Feb. 5. The customary annual State of the Union address was delivered over one and a half hours.
He asked Congress to “govern not as two parties, but as one nation,” and to work on “not the Democratic agenda or the Republican agenda, but the agenda of the American people.”
“Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country,” he said.
Reflecting on the 20th century, he said, “There’s nothing anywhere else in the world that can compete with America.” He mentioned two important anniversaries in 2019, the 75-year anniversary of D-Day in World War II, “to save our civilization from tyranny,” and the 50-year anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Three soldiers who served on D-Day stood for applause, as did Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
“Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness,” the president said. He highlighted the current “unprecedented economic boom,” including 5.3 million jobs created and 600,000 new manufacturing jobs, noting, “We are just getting started” and “Our economy is the envy of the world.”
“The state of our union is strong,” he said, and “the only things that can stop us are wars, politics, and ridiculous partisan investigations.”
“We must be united at home to defeat our enemies abroad,” he said. “Now is the time for bipartisan action.”
Protecting the Border
He asked Congress to pass a bill to fund the government and talked about border security.
“Legal immigrants strengthen society,” he said, but later said, “Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate, it is actually very cruel,” noting problems of sexual abuse, trafficking, lethal drugs, and killings associated with illegal immigration.
He noted that in previous years in Congress most members voted for a wall, “but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built.” He mentioned a steel see-through barrier, and also successes with barriers in San Diego and El Paso.
Among other issues he mentioned were improved trade deals, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, eliminating HIV in 10 years, and fighting childhood cancer. A young girl, a brain cancer survivor, stood up for applause for her courage and her fundraising efforts for cancer research.
“All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God,” he said. He asked for legislation to stop late-term abortion.
Military Strength, International Leadership
He talked about military strength, including building a state-of-the-art missile defense system and the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia due to repeated Russian violations.
“If I had not been elected, we would be, in my opinion, in a major war with North Korea,” he said, while commenting on positive past and future meetings with Kim Jong Un.
He talked about the “abject poverty” in Venezuela under socialist leadership, and said he was alarmed by calls to adopt socialism in America. “American will never be a socialist country,” he said.
“Great nations do not fight endless wars,” he said, referring to conflicts in the Middle East in which the country has been fighting for 19 years. He is accelerating negotiations in Afghanistan and bringing home troops from Syria, and taking action against the “radical regime in Iran.”
An 81-year-old survivor of Dachau in Nazi Germany was present. President Trump related the survivor’s memory of his father, when soldiers appeared suddenly, shouting, “It’s the Americans! It’s the Americans!” One of the D-Day survivors present Tuesday was also one of the liberators of the man who survived Dachau.
Reflecting on the feats of the young men who served in World War II, the president said, “They did it for America. They did it for us.”
Calling for Unity
“Our most thrilling achievements are ahead,” he said, after calling America “the most extraordinary nation in all of history.”
He asked if we would be “deterred by our differences, or dare to transcend them.”
“I am asking you to choose greatness. Keep freedom alive in our souls,” he said.
“One nation under God must be the hope, the promise, the light, and the glory of all nations of the world,” he said as he concluded his address.