As thunderstorms threatened, President Donald Trump delivered a V-J Day speech on Wednesday in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Trump stood before an iconic World War II-era battleship to declare Wilmington a World War II “Heritage City.”
He pointed to a bolt of lightning and said it was God saluting the event.
He honored war veterans, including 97-year-old Hershel “Woody” Williams, the sole surviving Marine from the war to receive the Medal of Honor.
The West Virginia native fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific.
“He’s 100 percent sharp,” Trump said of Williams, who traveled to North Carolina with the president aboard Air Force One.
“I know a 78-year-old who’s not so sharp,” Trump added, a clear allusion to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“This is the most important election in the history of our country. I really believe that, because we’re running against people that have got some big issues,” Trump told supporters on the airport tarmac.
“They have got some big, big problems. They’re stone cold crazy.”
Trump won North Carolina by 3.6 percentage points in 2016, but polls are showing an extremely close race taking shape in a state that generates 15 electoral votes for its winner.
Vice President Mike Pence will follow the president by visiting Raleigh on Thursday.
Biden released a statement in advance of the trip saying that Trump has “repeatedly ignored public health guidance for political purposes.”
Wilmington has been home to the U.S.S. North Carolina since 1962. The ship is now a floating museum.
On Sept. 2, 1945, Japan’s formal surrender took place aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
Congress passed a bill earlier this year that included a provision requiring the secretary of the interior to annually designate one city in the United States as an “American World War II Heritage City.”
Wilmington is the first city to get that designation.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.