President Trump delivered remarks in a steady downpour on Sunday at an American war memorial and cemetery in France – without the cover of an umbrella – as he honored American vets and heroes.
Trump gave the speech on the centennial anniversary of the First World War, which he was in Paris to celebrate over the weekend, after coming under scrutiny for calling off a trip to a similar memorial while it was raining the day before.
‘Exactly 100 years ago today, on Nov. 11 1918, World War One came to an end. Thank god,’ he said. ‘It was a brutal war.’
The U.S. president called it ‘one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history’ and a ‘horrible, horrible war’ in an 11-minute address with the Eiffel Tower behind him.
‘We gathered together at this hallowed resting place to pay tribute to the brave Americans who gave their last breath in that mighty struggle,’ he said.
Lightening the mood, he told six WWII veterans he said were in attendance, ‘You look like you’re in really good shape, all of you. I hope I look like that someday. You look great.’
President Trump delivered remarks in a steady downpour on Sunday at an American war memorial and cemetery in France, without the cover of an umbrella, as he honored American vets and heroes
Trump noted in the speech, which he gave after coming under fire for calling off a war memorial tour the day before, that Nov. 11 marks the centennial anniversary of the First World War
President Donald Trump, left, arrives for an American Commemoration Ceremony, Sunday Nov. 11, 2018, at Suresnes American Cemetery near Paris
Trump gave the speech on the centennial anniversary of the First World War, which he was in Paris to celebrate over the weekend, after coming under scrutiny for calling off a trip to a similar memorial while it was raining the day before
Attendees covered themselves in ponchos during the remarks that Trump made in spite of a light rain
The veterans had been offered limited space underneath the monument, out of the rain, to watch the speech from.
‘You look so comfortable up there, under shelter, as we’re getting drenched. You’re very smart people,’ he said to laughter. ‘America is forever in debt, and we are forever in your debt. And we really appreciate you being here.’
Attendees of the president’s speech, including members of Congress in Paris for the event, huddled together under umbrellas and ponchos.
‘Thank you very much. I know you wanted to be here very badly. We appreciate it,’ he told lawmakers who made the trek.
With the celebration of war’s end, also came mourning for the live it claimed.
‘On this day, in the year 1918, church bells rang, families embraced, and celebrations, as you know, filled the streets like never before, in towns throughout Europe and the United States. But victory had come at a terrible cost,’ Trump acknowledged.
More than a million French had died, and 116,000 American soldiers were killed.
‘Countless would come home bearing the lasting scars of trench warfare and the grisly horrors of chemical weapons,’ he said. ‘Here on the revered grounds of Suresnes American Cemetery lie more than 1,500 U.S. service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War.’
Trump said the patriots ’embody the timeless virtues’ of France and the United States: ‘honor and courage; strength and valor; love and loyalty; grace and glory.
‘It is our duty to preserve the civilization they defended and to protect the peace they so nobly gave their lives to secure one century ago,’ he stated.
The president kept his remarks at the monument brief. As the rain continued, he claimed without irony, ‘This has been a wonderful two days we spent in France. And this is certainly the highlight of the trip.
Donald Trump is now on his way from Paris to the United States, where he arrives in the evening on the same day.
He attended an internationally broadcast gathering for world leaders at the Arc de Triomphe and lunched with his counterparts earlier on Sunday before driving a half-hour outside of the city to Suresnes for the invite-only ceremony commemorating the end of WWI.
The speech closed out an awkward chapter in his relationship with the host nation’s president that began when Trump blasted him on Twitter as he arrived at Orly airport late on Friday.
Trump’s rising feud with Emmanuel Macron boiled on Sunday as the French leader forcefully denounced nations ‘looking after their own interests’ and decried nationalist policies like the ones the American president has embraced.
Macron specifically referred to the ‘selfishness of nations only looking after their own interests’ in remarks at an Armistice Day event in Paris that Trump and other world leaders attended.
‘Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what gives it grace. And what is essential— its moral values,’ he said in an English-language translation of the speech he delivered with Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin sitting in the front row.
Still, Trump kindly acknowledged Macron, saying that he and the first lady ‘were deeply honored to be the guests’ of the French government at the event that morning. He said, ‘It was very beautiful and so well done. ‘
Trump and Macron have been sparring over comments that Macron made last week about his desire to form a European army. The U.S. president said in a stinging tweet that Macron’s comments were ‘very insulting’ as he landed in Paris on Friday evening with the first lady.
Donald Trump ‘s rising feud with Emmanuel Macron took a new turn on Sunday as the French leader forcefully denounced nations ‘looking after their own interests’ and decried nationalist policies like the ones the American president has embraced
The leaders later attended a luncheon at Elysee Palace with other heads of state as part of a program that Macron is hosting in France this weekend commemorating the cessation of hostilities in World War One.
Donald and Melania Trump skipped an arrival ceremony at the residence of the French president earlier in the day and did not walk down the Champs-Elysees with fellow leaders, traveling to the Arcin the U.S. president’s bullet-proof limousine, instead.
They remained inside the car and out of the rain until after visiting leaders and Macron lined up under a covered seating area.
President Trump greeted President Macron again — having already sat down with him at Elysee and across from him at a dinner for dignitaries that took place on Saturday — and took his place nearby in the front row of a riser below the arc.
The U.S. president’s grand entry was then upstaged arrival of Russia’s Putin, who shook Trump’s hand and gave him a thumbs up before taking his own seat to Macron’s left. Trump was seated two down from Macron, next to Germany’s Angela Merkel.
UPSTAGED: Russian President Vladimir Putin was the last to arrive at the Arc de Triomphee. He hook Trump’s hand and gave him a thumbs up before taking his own seat to Macron’s right
President Trump greets Angela Merkel as he arrives at the Arc in Paris on Sunday
Trump gave Putin a pat on the back as he bid the Russian leader hello in Paris
First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump arrive in the rain for the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday
Right to Left: Russian President Vladimir Putin. Brigitte Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump
Putin upstaged Trump by arriving at the ceremony last, after the American president and his wife had entered. Macron and other world leaders came together on buses.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told DailyMail.com in response to an inquiry about Trump’s delayed arrival, and the possibility that Trump was meeting with Putin during the time that he was missing, that he was merely abiding by protocol.
‘Due to security protocols the President arrived separately,’ she said, without commenting on the possibility that he was talking privately with the Russian leader.
Putin confirmed later that he and Trump did not talk in Paris and would have a formal meeting at the G20 in Argentina later this month.
As President Trump was arriving at the unity ceremony in Paris on Sunday, a topless woman bearing the messages ‘fake’ and ‘peace’ on her chest threw herself at the president’s motorcade in protest as it pulled up.
Two other women also tried to approach the president and were physically arrested by security guards.
Several minutes later, the Trumps entered the ceremony under separate umbrellas, the president in a blue coat and red tie and the first lady in a grey dress and matching overcoat.
The American president and his wife participated in a centennial celebration of Armistice Day, honored in Europe annually on Nov. 11, after the Pentagon indefinitely postponed a military parade Trump planned to have in Washington.
In America, the holiday is marked by Veteran’s Day, which Trump honored at the Suresnes cemetery in the afternoon.
World leaders including Donald Trump greet Russian President Vladimir Putin as he arrives for the ceremony
The armored limousine known as ‘The Beast’ carrying US president arrives ahead of the ceremony
BY NOW: Trump gets in the his vehicle just before attending the Sunday leaders’ lunch
Bells tolled in Paris on Sunday in remembrance of the cessation of fighting that concluded at 11:00 in the morning on Nov. 11, 1918 in Compiègne, France.
The United States entered the war on April 6, 1917 in response to a declaration of war request against Germany from President Woodrow Wilson.
A year and a half later, the war ended, but Europe was again thrown into chaos two decades later with WWII, when America also fought alongside France.
The two sides have become close allies in the nearly 75 years since the fighting began. Macron and Merkel entered the ceremony in Paris on Sunday as part of a united front after walking hand-in-hand through Compiègne on Saturday.
In remarks that were broadcast in French and translated to English, Macron appeared to take a shot at Trump’s self-proclaimed nationalism.
‘The lesson of the Great War can not be that of resentment between peoples, nor should the past be forgotten,’ Macron said during the broadcast that included a military fly-over. ‘It is our deeply rooted obligation to think of the future, and to consider what is essential.’
As Trump was arriving in France, they fought over Macron’s proposal to draft a ‘true European army’ that would protect the continent’s interests in the face of a recoiling United States. He suggested the fighting force would also serve as a check on U.S. military might, lumping the ally in with threats from Russia and China.
Trump said the comment was ‘very insulting’ and ignored the United States’ generous contributions to Europe’s defense via the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The following day, the leaders proclaimed themselves to be ‘very good friends’ at a one-on-one meeting, even as Trump’s body language told a different story.
‘You know what my attitude has been, and we want a strong Europe. It’s very important to us to have a strong Europe. And whichever way we can do it the best and most efficient would be something that we both want,’ Trump said.
Macron told him that he agrees. ‘But it’s unfair to have the European security today being assured just by the United States, and we need a much better burden sharing.
‘That’s why I do believe that we need more European capacities, more European defense, in order to take this part of the burden,’ he assessed. ‘When President Trump has to protect or to defend one of the states of the United States, he doesn’t ask France or Germany, or another government of Europe to finance it.’
President Trump visited Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial after cancelling a trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial on Saturday when a bad weather call grounded Marine One.
He and first lady Melania Trump had planned to visit the memorial for American marines near the Belleau Wood battlefield, however their program was nixed at the last minute due to a storm that would have prevented them from helicoptering to the site that is more than an hour’s drive from Paris.
Despite the heavy security presence a topless female protester was able to break through near the President’s motorcade
Trump caused controversy on Saturday after his trip to the Ainse-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial was called off because of the rain
‘The President and First Lady’s trip to Ainse-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial has been canceled due to scheduling and logistical difficulties caused by the weather,’ the White House said. ‘An American delegation led by Chief of Staff General John Kelly and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford will attend on their behalf.’
The site honors United States Army’s 2nd Division and an attack it led on the Germans on June 6, 1918 that liberated the Bouresches. The skirmishes ended 20 days later on June 26.
According to the American Battle Monuments Commission, 8,100 soldiers died in the wooded area near Belleau, France that month.
Macron gifted Trump with a sapling from the area during a state visit in April.
Trump was blasted abroad and at home for skipping the trip to the memorial and was compared to Canada’s Justin Trudeau, who last year visited monuments in France under a steady downpour.
The U.S. president sidestepped the controversy on Sunday but gave a nod to the battle site in his speech at Suresnes.
‘Among those buried here are legendary Marines who fought in the Battle of Belleau Wood,’ he said.
‘In that treacherous forest and the surrounding fields, American Marines, soldiers, and Allied Forces fought — and they fought through hell — to turn the tide of the war. And that’s what they did — they turned the tide of the war,’ he stated.