President Trump Honors Survivors of U.S.S. Arizona and Heroes of Pearl Harbor…

Earlier today President Trump met with survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the U.S.S. Arizona.

[Transcript] 2:51 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Today it’s my distinct privilege to welcome to the White House three of the five living survivors of the USS Arizona. This is their first time to our nation’s capital — Ken, Lauren, and Don. I hope this trip does honor to you and your truly heroic service and we wanted to thank you all. That is so good. Thank you very much. Thank you for giving me the nicest hardware, plus a beautiful patch. Thank you.

For these three World War II veterans, December 7th, 1941, the brutal attack on Pearl Harbor is forever seared into their memories. It’s also seared into America’s memory because, on that grim day, this mighty nation was roused to defend freedom itself.

Each of them has a harrowing story of courage to share. They tell us of the American spirit under fire, and of the will of our people to defeat threats to our nation and to the civilized world.

One of the heroes with us today is Ken Potts. Ken was on the shore at Pearl Harbor when the attack began. Rather than flee from the fire and the chaos, he drove his small boat into the blazing hot water. He climbed aboard the sinking Arizona, and he carried off passengers one by one.

Ken, it is an honor to meet you, an American hero whose love of our country and love of his brothers was greater than his concern for his own safety. And he paid a very big price. He’s gone through life in a little bit worse condition than he could have but he was very, very happy that he did it.

We’re deeply grateful that you are here today with us nearly 76 years after that December morning. You are a living witness to history and a living example of true American courage. Ken, how are you doing? Are you all right?

MR. POTTS: All right.

THE PRESIDENT: You doing good?

MR. POTTS: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: You’re feeling good?

MR. POTTS: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: You better believe it. (Laughter.) He looks good to me. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Lauren Bruner and Donald Stratton are also with us. They were on the deck of the USS Arizona, doing their duty, when the ship was engulfed by massive, massive flames. They were both fortunate enough to be rescued by another courageous hero, Joe George, whose daughter, Joe Ann, is with us today.

Joe was in a boat next to the USS Arizona, and when he saw several men still standing, he hurled a rope onto the deck of the ship at tremendous risk to himself. Lauren and Don clung to that rope and, hand over hand, they crossed through the 70 feet of flames, burning endlessly.

The story of Lauren and Don’s devotion and duty doesn’t end there. Despite suffering terrible burns, still with them today, they both served in the Navy for years after, fighting in some of the greatest Pacific engagements in World War II. Lauren and Don, thank you very much for your lifetime of service and your lifetime of sacrifice. Thank you very much. Thank you.

MR. STRATTON: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Feel pretty good, right? How long have you been married? Have long are you together? Listen to this one, folks.

MR. STRATTON: Sixty-seven years. My wife.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s a long time. That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. Thank you.

MR. STRATTON: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: That is beautiful.

As Lauren and Don will tell you, they’re here because one man, Joe George, stopped at nothing to save them. Joe George rescued six men that day. He is no longer with us, but he will always honor and remember a man — we will always do this — whose courage knew no limits. His name will go down in history — very brave, very strong.

Joe Ann, your father makes us all proud. Thank you for inspiring our nation by telling the story of your father — a true patriot; a well-known man; a man that goes down, really, in the history with the Arizona; and a total hero. Thank you very much.

MS. TAYLOR: We’re very proud of him.

THE PRESIDENT: You should be, right? That’s so nice. Thank you for being here. I think you loved him, right?

MS. TAYLOR: I loved him very much. And I know you understand because you have your daughters.

THE PRESIDENT: I do.

MS. TAYLOR: You understand the relationship.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s true. Thank you, Joe Ann. Appreciate it.

There are many remarkable things that I witness as President, but nothing can take the place of meeting heroes like those with us today. In them we see the strength of our nation, the courage of our men and women in uniform, the resolve to never accept failure, and the belief that justice will always triumph and that the America — and the America that we know and love — the United States — will always prevail. We will always prevail.

And by the way, we’re building it up bigger — you know this. We’re building it up bigger and stronger and better than ever before. Our military is very proud again, aren’t they?

LIEUTENANT PREVITS: That’s right.

THE PRESIDENT: You see what’s happening.

LIEUTENANT PREVITS: Indeed.

THE PRESIDENT: They look at the day’s budget, and so they’re seeing lots of ships, right? Lots of planes. Lots of great equipment.

LIEUTENANT PREVITS: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Ken, Lauren, Don, and Joe Ann, I want to thank you for reminding us who we are, where we come from, and why we never, ever give up. Your story gives us all inspiration to do the right thing for our country, our countrymen, and for our God. Thank you very much for being here. Thank you very much. It’s a great honor. Thank you. Thank you all.

Q Mr. President, what are you trying to accomplish with your staff shakeups today? Can you explain to us what you’re trying to accomplish?

THE PRESIDENT: Make America great again.

You want to hear this, fellas? It’s very interesting. Very interesting. Very beautiful statement. Very beautiful statement.

MR. STRATTON: All the people we met today and all the people who were lined along — that we’ve been with, you could tell, with our military and everything, that this country is coming together again, and we’re going to be there.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s good. And now I know why you married this guy such a long time. (Laughter.) That’s beautiful. Thank you.

I could never have said it that well, believe me. (Laughter.) Believe me. Thank you. That’s so nice.

END – 2:59 P.M. EDT

This entry was posted in Donald Trump, Heros, History, Military, President Trump, Uncategorized, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to President Trump Honors Survivors of U.S.S. Arizona and Heroes of Pearl Harbor…

  1. sundance says:

    Liked by 17 people

    • Minnie says:

      God bless all who serve this beautiful America!

      Liked by 7 people

    • My father was at Schofield Barracks on Dec. 7, 1941. The zeros didn’t attack the Army base, but flew over it at a low altitude. He said that he could have hit them with a rock, but the Army kept the grounds “policed” of any clutter. He told us that all the rifles were locked up and they couldn’t get to them.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Tegan says:

        Two uncles, both career Navy, brothers were on shore during the attack..both survived. One deceased but his brother just turned 98 about 6 weeks ago. Still quite bitter, would never return to Hawaii nor discuss that day.

        Liked by 5 people

        • My father was born in 1909, a sergeant in 1941. He went on to the Pacific campaign and later to Korea. He never volunteered to talk about war, but just gave brief answers. My father-in-law never talked about being in the European campaigns. I have seen few people return from war who talked about it freely after a time.

          While in the Navy (stateside) I did get to talk with numerous sailors and marines returning from ‘Nam. Those people fresh from war needed someone to listen to them. I never knew what to say, but just listened and tried to encourage them. They had real PTSD.

          What is relevant today is that each time I encounter a vet who has been to war, I will only praise them and attempt to lift them up. PTSD can be a lifetime thing. They need all of us to support them and show our appreciation.

          Sorry I got so very far off topic.

          Liked by 5 people

          • Roozter says:

            Very interesting! My Dad was a gunnery Sgt – Belgium/Ardennes/the Bulge. I think his way of dealing with it was TO talk about it.
            Long nights over a good bottle of wine and war stories are among my dearest memories.

            Like

  2. Sundance.

    I have to say, that on the day of the removal of the White House press secretary, there are things you need to know. I think you should get the job.

    The fact is, Trump’s team has not been good at getting the message out of all the great things that have been going on, and the items achieved. This article for instance. I would never have found this out were it not for you.

    For sure, I could go and find out myself with more research. But I don’t want to do that. I have no time. I want to get this stuff from the news. And you do that. You are one of the few that do that. Even better than the WhiteHouse up to this date.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Kaco says:

      You should sign up for the White House daily emails!

      Liked by 3 people

    • bkrg2 says:

      Infinite like! Yes Sundance, thank you for making it easy to find all the great (and not so great) daily news.
      I stopped watching tv news many years ago. Only got headlines and top stories from yahoo and bloomberg because they were the most neutral sources.
      A little over a year ago, I found the treehouse and brietbart. Now i see how biased even yahoo and bloomberg are (and sometimes breibary). I only use CTH and President Trumps twitter and newsletter as my news source now. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam says:

    This is truly a moving ceremony to watch. You could tell these veterans and their loved ones were genuinely happy to meet our president and I believe the feeling was mutual. God bless them for their service to our country.

    Liked by 9 people

  4. fleporeblog says:

    This is why WE would go to war and die for this man! It doesn’t get any better than this for those men and their wives!

    What an INCREDIBLE human being our President is! Truly moments like this reaffirm that GOD placed this man in the position he is today.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Lburg says:

      Our President is able to recognize heroism, patriotism and family pride because he possesses those traits in spades. His deep appreciation for these veterans and their service and sacrifice is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

      And yes, I would take a bullet for him.

      Liked by 10 people

      • corimari2013 says:

        Tears were streaming down my face as I watched and listened.
        Wonderful, selfless, valiant, people who did all they could on Dec. 7, 1941.
        Pres. Trump’s moving, honoring, personal words and touch to these people overwhelmed me.
        Thank you, sundance, for sharing these fine people and their stirring stories with us.
        I am proud and so very thankful to have Pres. Donald Trump as my spokesman, perfectly expressing my thoughts and feelings and respect for these noble souls.

        Liked by 6 people

    • Will Janoschka says:

      Our President is able to recognize that each person is unique and valuable for that.
      The whole nonsense of race, religion, color, creed, sexual orientation, or plain bitchiness is some attempt to divide and conquer. “Elite vs peasants vs serfs” is a contrived attempt to dominate.
      P45 recognizes that folk are folk, each has some unique skill to offer. There is no need for divisive groups.
      All; the best!-will-

      Liked by 5 people

  5. magagirl says:

    I never in my life would had imagined that I would love a President like I love him. Thank you for loving us back PDJT! We can feel it 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    Liked by 8 people

  6. kinthenorthwest says:

    These are the areas that Obama did not do. If memory serves me right very few ceremonies for military were done at the White House during Obama’s 8 years. Yes there was Memorial Day and a few other Holidays. Do believe that Obama barely even recognized the 4th of July….

    Liked by 7 people

    • Sylvia Avery says:

      Oh, but remember that lovely rose garden ceremony with Bo Bergdahl’s parents? We could count on BO to stir himself from watching ESPN with his bong and provide us with that kind of garbage. Grr….

      It is so refreshing to have a patriot in the WH.

      Liked by 9 people

    • Carl H says:

      We went through the 200th of the War of 1812 and the 150th of CW I.

      Obama did NOTHING to remember any of it. All those battles. All those people.

      A pox on him and his cabal/supporters for that.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. filia.aurea says:

    The President was well advised to honor those brave souls, and this also served as a reminder to everyone the true cost of war. The whole purpose of rebuilding the Fleet is securing peace through strength. While that is underway, the more challenging task will be to rebuild military culture, minus the p.c. and equal-opportunity b.s. that’s spread like a cancer throughout each branch of the Armed Services – it starts at the Pentagon.

    Liked by 10 people

  8. jrapdx says:

    I’ve visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor a number of times and it’s never failed to be an incredibly moving experience. If anyone hasn’t been there I highly recommend making the journey.

    Years ago it used to be a regular feature than a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack would be at the park site to answer questions and share stories. Obviously that isn’t happening considering that all but a few of the witnesses to that event have passed on.

    Remarkably even after 76 years there is still oil seeping from the tanks aboard the Arizona. The drops of oil are iridescent on the surface of the water, they are regarded as tears of the fallen sailors. No one knows when all of the oil will finally have dissipated, but eventually it will. I’ve had the strange idea that the oil will run out after the last survivor dies. That may not be too long into the future.

    President Trump’s acknowledgment of the courageous Americans who survived the horrific attack is a wonderful tribute to their patriotic spirit. There’s a lot for us to be grateful for and to take to heart in our own troubled era.

    Liked by 9 people

  9. dekester says:

    Thank jrapdx,

    What a moving post.

    God bless PDJT.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. TomG says:

    I honestly think that Donald trump could come up with a treaty acceptable to all sides of the Palestine/Israel unpleasantness, discover a cure for cancer AND the common cold – and all three on the one day – and the American MSM would still find some way to turn all three feats into a massive negative for Trump.

    If he was step out onto the Potomac and walk on water, the headlines the next day would be “Trump fails in attempt to swim across the Potomac!”

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Kaco says:

    I wish more of our youth would see the example of these brave men.

    God bless them and I thank them for their service.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Donna in Oregon says:

    Saw it live. So great. I loved it when PDJT stayed after the press was leaving to talk with them. Awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. mo says:

    I’d would also like to see the president honor the survivors of the USS Forrestal.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. TONYA PARNELL says:

    It is so nice to see articles and pictures such as this, thank you. TRUMP 2020

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Michael says:

    My grandfather was right there, waiting for a friend coming off the USS Arizona on the early morning shuttle. They were going bow hunting that Dunday morning for wild boar. His friend never made the shuttle. A zero dropped down over my grandfather, leveled and dropped a torpedo, that was the lead plane and the ‘First Shot Fired’ in that war. Behind the lead plane was a dozen more planes that delivered the finsl blows to the Arizona. My granddad helped to rescue the sailors who jumped over.

    Liked by 6 people

  16. Serena says:

    Very touching and moving. I had tears watching this. What a well deserved honor for these true American heroes. Thank you President Trump for always loving our country and respecting our brave military and their sacrifices in defending our great country.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. corimari2013 says:

    I had read a story about Joe George in a book not too long ago—the man who threw the rope to the flame-engulfed USS Arizona, so that Donald Stratton and others could escape. Joe George’s daughter Jo Ann was included in the WH ceremony. And then…I remembered the book: “All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor”, by Donald Stratton.
    I recommend it to all of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Jean Kohut says:

    Touching…my heart ❤ is just overwhelmed with love and respect for all these men went through. And for our President whose genuine love for America.

    Like

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