Since President-elect Donald Trump first announced his candidacy, Americans have wondered what kind of leader he might turn out to be. His lack of prior political office makes his behavior a larger question-mark than most, so speculation has run wild.
His Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, openly questioned Trump’s temperament:
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 11, 2016
On Wednesday, as Americans reflected on the date that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt swore would forever “live in infamy,” Donald Trump posted a heartfelt statement in tribute to the men and women who rushed toward the flames at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941:
We pause today to remember the 2,403 American heroes who selflessly gave their lives at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, on a…
Image Credit: J. David Ake/AFP/Getty Images
We pause today to remember the 2,403 American heroes who selflessly gave their lives at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, on a date that will forever live in infamy. We also honor the 1,178 Americans who were wounded, and the countless others who instinctively did their duty, rushing to their posts in the midst of the chaos.
Their shared sacrifice reminds us of the great costs paid by those who came before us to secure the liberties we enjoy, and inspires us to rise to meet the new challenges that stand before us today.
America’s enemies have changed over the past 75 years. But the fact remains, as President Reagan said when first proclaiming National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, ‘there can be no substitute for victory’ in the pursuit of peace. Today we are the bearers of the torch of freedom these brave Americans passed on to us.
In honor of their faithfulness, and for the sake of generations to come, we will never allow that flame to be extinguished.
Donald J. Trump
President-Elect of the United States
Trump mentioned former President Reagan — who formally recognized December 7th as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in 1987 — but he also sounded a bit like the Great Communicator, who wrote these words when he set aside the day:
On December 7, Americans everywhere commemorate the 46th anniversary of the morning in 1941 when our Armed Forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, were subjected to a surprise aerial strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy. That attack killed 2,403 Americans and wounded 1,178 others — and caused our Nation to enter World War II.
America was unprepared for war, but we quickly resolved to do what must be done in defense of our country. Knowing that in war there can be no substitute for victory, the American people summoned a great national effort in military strength and industrial activity.
The sacrifices of our military personnel at Pearl Harbor became the prelude to those our brave fighting forces were to endure around the globe for the next three and one-half years. When the terrible conflict ceased and the peace was won, America’s freedom remained intact and we had taken on a crucial role as the leader of the world’s democracies and bulwark of international peace.
On December 7, America remembers much and resolves much. We remember Pearl Harbor’s dead and wounded and its courageous survivors who fought that day and many other days as well. We remember too one of history’s clearest lessons, that weakness and unpreparedness do not build peace but invite aggression. We remember that our freedom, purchased at so dear a price, can be taken from us.
And we resolve that that shall never be. We resolve that our strength, our vigilance, and our devotion will forever keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave. We resolve that we will keep faith with those we have loved and lost. And we resolve that, always, we will remember Pearl Harbor.
Reagan is remembered by most conservatives as not only a great president, but as a good man — he even served as a role model for President Obama. If Donald Trump continues to emulate Reagan, he may surprise millions of Americans with his ability to become another “great communicator.”