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Watch: First Big Cheers of SOTU Go to Melania, D-Day Heroes, Buzz Aldrin

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At President Trump’s second State of the Union address Tuesday night, the first big cheers were reserved for a group of American heroes and the first lady.

The president opened by thanking the usual individuals — including his wife Melania, who received a long ovation from the chamber.

Taking part in the round of applause were both Vice President Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, sitting in their customary position behind the president, who turned toward Melania to clap.

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After a short entreaty toward party unity — in which he said he would lay out “not a Republican agenda or Democrat agenda,” but “an agenda of the American people” — there was a second round of ovations, this time for American heroes.

With the 75th anniversary of D-Day approaching in June, Trump thanked three surviving veterans of that fateful operation.

“On D-Day June 6, 1944, 15,000 young American men jumped from the skies, and 60,000 more stormed in from the sea to save our civilization from tyranny,” Trump said.

“Here with us tonight are three of those incredible heroes. Private First Class Joseph Reilly, Staff Sergeant Irving Locker and Sergeant Herman Zeitchik.”

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Locker stood and pumped his fist as the men were applauded by the chamber.

The White House tweeted out portraits of the three D-Day veterans as the speech was taking place.

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Another hero who garnered an early round of applause was Buzz Aldrin, the Apollo 11 astronaut and second man to walk on the moon.

“Gentlemen, we salute you. In 2019 we also celebrate 50 years since brave young pilots flew a quarter of one million miles through space to plant the American flag on the face of the moon,” the president said.

“Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag, Buzz Aldrin. Thank you, Buzz. This year, American astronauts will go back to space in American rockets.”

The president was referring to a project by Elon Musk’s American-based SpaceX which aims to transport our astronauts to the International Space Station.

Since the demise of the Space Shuttle program, astronauts going to the ISS have only traveled there aboard Russian-made Soyuz rockets. Phys.org reported that the first manned launch is to take place in June, although Quartz has reported in the past there are worries regarding delays to the program. Boeing is also planning a manned launch of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft this year, although it too has been beset by delays.

According to The Associated Press, neither Aldrin nor the D-Day veterans were announced guests.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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