At 6:40 Thursday evening, President Donald J. Trump stood at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his “Salute to America” speech to mark Fourth of July, Independence Day.

President Trump shaped history as the first U.S. president, since Harry Truman in 1951, to address a crowd at the National Mall on July Fourth.

Thousands of Americans attended the historic event of the 21st century to commemorate July Fourth—the nation’s birthday and the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence that took place in 1776.

“The first lady and I wish each and every one of you a happy Independence Day on this truly historic Fourth of July. Today we come together as one nation with this very special Salute to America,” began President Trump.

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He praised American heroes, including the military, armed forces, and civil rights leaders for their honorable contribution to American history.

“We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag. The brave men and women of the United States military,” said President Trump.

Audiences flank both sides of the Memorial’s reflecting pool and stretch all the way to the Washington Monument. And for nearly 45 minutes, the president spoke and honored all those who contributed to making America great.

“As we gather this evening in the joy of freedom, we remember that all share a truly extraordinary heritage,” said President Trump.

President Donald J. Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and others stood as U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform a fly over Lincoln Memorial during July Fourth celebration, in Washington, on July 4, 2019. (Alex Brandon, AP)

“Together we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told—the story of America. It is the epic tale of a great nation whose people have risked everything for what they know is right and what they know is true,” the president spoke with conviction.

President Trump enthused the American people to “stay true to our cause.” He stated, “It is the chronicles of brave citizens who never give up on the dream of a better and brighter future. And it is the saga of 13 separate colonies that united, to form the most just and virtuous republic ever conceived.”

The president alluded to the American history as a source of inspiration.

“On this day, 243 years ago our founding fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to declare independence and defend God-given rights,” President Trump recollected.

The late afternoon showers drench the crowds at Washington’s Independence Day celebrations but did not deter the turnout nor soaked the enthusiasm of the crowds.

Thirty minutes after the “Salute to America” address, the Capitol Fourth concert begins.