While the memorial was largely empty, Trump and Melania participated in a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the end of the war in Europe.
Watch the ceremony below
President Trump visits the World War II Memorial to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory Europe Day, marking the surrender of the German Forces and the end of World War II in Europe https://t.co/CHK0S3FEKz pic.twitter.com/Um9uC0gXW2
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 8, 2020
“Today, we celebrate the forces of freedom who defeated tyranny and emerged victorious in that monumental struggle,” Trump wrote in a message marking the anniversary.
He continued, “We pay tribute to those who served for their service and pause to remember those who gave their last full measure in defense of the flames of liberty.”
Trump’s message goes on to recognize more than 186,000 Americans who lost their lives in the war and more than double that number who were wounded.
His message and the ceremony come as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the nation.
“Today, as we reflect on the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War II in Europe, we are reminded that no challenge is greater than the resolve of the American spirit,” Trump wrote.
He added, “Over the past months, our Nation has faced remarkable adversity during the coronavirus pandemic. But just as we have so many times before, America will triumph, and we will emerge from this a stronger and more united country.”
Trump acknowledged fewer than 400,000 of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II are still alive today.
The nation continues to work to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus.
As of Friday afternoon, there are more than 1,000,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States and over 76,000 deaths.
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