President shows emotional display of gratitude to war hero
President Donald Trump gave an emotional display of gratitude when he hugged 94-year-old World War Two veteran Russell Pickett, who heroicly stormed the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago.
Trump praised Pickett as a ‘tough guy,’ who was only 19 years old when he was a member of Company A of the 29th Infantry Division, which was selected to be the first wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day in June 1944.
“Russell Pickett is the last known survivor of the legendary company A. Today, believe it or not, he has returned once more to these shores to be with his comrades. Private Pickett, you honor us all with your presence,” Trump said.
The Army veteran recalled that his company, known as part of the ‘suicide wave’ which fronted the charge, had an extremely high casualty rate, according to ABC news in 2016.
A company was 96 percent casualty within the first 30-45 minutes,’ Pickett said.
“They figured half of them dead. The other half of the casualties wounded which I was one of the casualties.”
Pickett was on a Higgins boat which held a flame thrower when the vessel was struck.
“I tried to get up, and my legs wouldn’t work. I wasn’t hurting anywhere, scared to death of course which that might have been what was wrong with me,” he recalled.
Pickett joined Trump, first lady Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron and a group of World War II veterans on stage on Thursday.
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Trump walked over to Pickett and embraced him in a full-on hug and also whispered in the veteran’s ear.
The President admitted he rarely shows such displays of emotion in public.
According to the Daily Mail:
In his remarks at the American Cemetery at Normandy, Trump recognized several of the surviving World War II veterans by name, including former Army medic Arnold Raymond ‘Ray’ Lambert, who served in the 16th Infantry Regiment of the U.S> Army’s First Division, known as ‘The Big Red One.’
At 98 years old, Lambert has said this is the last time he will likely come to Normandy.
Trump responded to London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s recent hit piece on him in the liberal Observer newspaper, branding the left-wing politician as a “stone cold loser” as he arrived for his visit to the United Kingdom.
Trump’s tweets followed an article written by Khan, who insisted Britain should not roll out the red carpet for president’s visit.
Khan went on to compare Trump to European dictators.
Trump’s actions are like “the actions of European dictators of the 1930s and 40s… the military juntas of the 1970s and 80s… Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-un,” he wrote.