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Travel Pool 13a Yad Vashem additional color
Philip Rucker • The Washington Post
May 23, 2017: 01:54 PM


Some additional color from the Yad Vashem events:

The names of concentration camps were engraved into the dark gray floors and painted white, including Auschwitz-Oswiecim.

President Trump, wearing a black yarmulke, and First Lady Melania Trump, in a sleeveless white dress, and nude colored heels, entered the room.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump followed. Kushner wore a black yarmulke and Ivanka Trump wore nude colored heels and a layered white lace dress that covered her arms and stopped at the knees. The young couple initially stood immediately behind President and Mrs. Trump, and then as the ceremony began moved to the front of the line, standing at the end of the line of dignitaries.

President Trump stood along a stone wall with Prime Minister Netanyahu to his right, and Sara Netanyahu to her husband's right. Standing to the president's left was Melania Trump, two rabbis and then Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

A girls choir, dressed in matching mustard yellow sweaters, stood perpendicularly along an adjoining stone wall, prepared to perform.

Trump's aides and other guests stood at an elevated level along the side of the room observing, while another group of aides stood in the corner of the room. The men for black yarmulkes. Spotted were Gary Cohn, Dan Scavino (taking pictures or video on his phone), George Gigicos, Keith Schiller, Dina Powell, Sean Spicer, Stephen Miller and Hope Hicks.

Trump was invited to "rekindle the eternal flame in the hall of remembrance." He stepped forward, leaned into a dark sculpture with a fire burning inside, and flipped a switch to set it further ablaze. Melania Trump, staying in position, stares at the fire and exhibited no emotion, nor did the other dignitaries.

President and Mrs. Trump stepped forward together as two soldiers laid a wreath. Ivanka and Jared stepped forward behind them. The first couple bent down to touch the wreath, paused in silence, and then took a few steps back and paused again, looking at the wreath. Jared and Ivanka stood behind them but did not touch the wreath.

The room was dark, save for a few spotlights trained to illuminate the dignitaries, the light of the fire and a slim stream of natural light streaming in along the edge of the ceiling.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Trumps shook hands with other dignitaries and guests and exited the memorial room. They did not give remarks.

The dignitaries moved outdoors for brief remarks against a stone wall and beneath a canvas canopy that offered shade on this warm yet breezy day.

President Trump signed the guest book at a wooden lectern that featured a gold menorah. Melania Trump stood immediately behind him and to his right, next to Prime Minister Netayanhu and Sara Netayanhu. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner stood off to the side with staff and other guests, holding hands as they observed the ceremony.

When her husband was finished, Melania Trump signed the guest book.

President Trump then returned to the lectern to deliver remarks. He spoke of the "unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people" and appeared to be reading from a prepared text. His statement bore echoes to the speech he gave a few weeks ago at a Holocaust Memorial event at the U.S. Capitol. (Memoli is soon sending more snippets of his remarks.)

Trump said the Jewish people have "persevered," "thrived" and "enlightened the world. As Trump spoke, Prime Minister Netayanhu nodded along with his apparent approval, and at one point clasped his hands and bowed his head. Midway through the president's remarks, Sara Netayanhu placed dark sunglasses over her eyes.

Prime Minister Netayanhu then spoke and said, "What an incredibly moving speech that in so few words said so much." He called Trump's visit "historic" because he was the first American president to include Israel on his first foreign trip and the first president in office to visit the Western Wall. He said he was moved to see Trump, as well as Melania, Ivanka and Jared, touch the wall.

Netayanhu addressed the Manchester horrors, calling for an end to the "slaughter of innocents." He also commended Trump for his remarks earlier labeling terrorists "losers."

President and Mrs. Trump were then presented a gift: the personal album of a 16-year-old girl who died in the Holocaust in Auschwitz. He then flipped through the pages of the album, which includes her pictures and writings. The girl's sister was here in attendance. Trump said "thank you very much" and shook hands with his host.

The Trumps then approached the girl's sister and spoke with her briefly, with the president inviting photographers to take pictures of him shaking the woman's hand.



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