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Remarks on Signing a Proclamation on the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War in Danang, Vietnam

November 10, 2017

The President. Hello, everybody. And I assume that by now you're pretty exhausted. The media must be absolutely exhausted, looking to go home. But we have had a tremendous time. And we're in Vietnam; tomorrow we go to the Philippines and then back to the United States. We'll be landing in Washington. And I think we've had a tremendous period of time, starting in Japan, going to South Korea, going to China. Last night's celebration in China was something, the likes of which few people have ever seen before. So we've had a very exciting time.

I'm very honored to be representing our country, and I will say that, when you speak of honors, one of my great honors is to present the people standing right behind me: great, great warriors and veterans of the Vietnam war. Our veterans are a national treasure, and I thank them all for their service, sacrifice, and patriotism.

To each of you with me today, you are the heroes who fulfill your duty to our Nation. And each of you, under the most difficult conditions, did what you had to do, and you did it well. My administration, as you all know, is committed to rebuilding our military and honoring the hard work and sacrifices of all veterans. We're extremely proud of what we've done with the Veterans Administration. Dr. Shulkin has done an amazing job with choice and accountability and so many other things that we are doing and in the process of doing. The Veterans Administration is a whole different place.

Our accountability efforts in Vietnam are very, very important to all of us. We will not rest until all of the 1,253 missing veterans are returned home. I want to thank the Government of Vietnam for their assistance in our efforts.

Today I'm signing a proclamation to honor the veterans of the Vietnam war. This is part of the ongoing 13-year commemoration of their sacrifice for freedom. And I just want to thank these seven very brave people for being here. I got to know them for a few minutes upfront, and they are definitely tough, smart cookies. We like them. [Laughter] I think they like me too. I'm not sure, but I think—[applause]—no, I think they do. I think they do. I think they see what we're doing for our military.

Would you like to say a few words, any of you guys? Would you like to say, somebody? Huh? Come on. Come on up here. Here's your chance. You can be a big star now.

Greenfield, IL, resident Steven R. Hopper. Well, I'm not sure about that. But just on behalf of many of us standing up in the front of the room today, I just want to say what an honor and privilege it is to be with our President. I so admire what you're doing for our country.

The President. Thank you very much.

Mr. Hopper. Thank you for your dedication to our military, our country. And we're all behind you in making America great again.

The President. Thank you very much. That's so nice. Thank you very much.

Mr. Hopper. Thank you. Thank you. The President. That's so good. Thank you. Please.

Valencia, CA, resident William L. Reynolds. It's an honor to be here. My family is so proud. My wife loves you. [Laughter] She does. We all love you.

All of the veterans that I represent in my community asked me to say to you: Keep doing what you're doing. We need to win. We need to make America great again. And we definitely think you are on the right track. So thank you. It's honor to meet you, sir.

The President. Thank you. We will keep it doing, and we will get it done.

Mr. Reynolds. Absolutely.

The President. No doubt.

Mr. Reynolds. I believe it. Thank you very much.

The President. Anybody?

Valencia, CA, resident Max P. Morgan. Mr. President, from my heart, thank you for your support of the military, and it's an honor to be here as one of seven Vietnam veterans representing the 58,000 heroes who never made it home. Thank you so much.

The President. Thank you so much. Thank you. That's fantastic. Come here.

Mr. Morgan. Thank you, sir. Thank you.

The President. You nervous?

Stevenson Ranch, CA, resident Robert L. Good. I am nervous.

The President. I don't think so. I don't think so.

Mr. Good. I am nervous.

You know, it's an honor for me to be here today to meet the President of the United States that's doing such a fine job for America. I'm so proud of him and what he's doing, and I'm also really proud to represent all those veterans that are back home to be one of seven of these veterans that are here today. It's such an honor to represent the rest of those veterans in the United States of America.

Thank you.

The President. Thank you, man. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Well, I just want to thank everybody. These are special, special people. And just in speaking to them, before I came up—they were so warm and so loving of our country—I said, "Hey, would you like to say a few words?" And they said them better than anybody can say them.

They're brave, they're strong, they're great patriots. And we just want to thank you and all of the thousands and thousands and all of the people that served with you and in all of the other wars.

And I—you know, one of the things, again, that I'm so happy with is what we're doing with the whole Veterans Administration. It is a whole different ballgame.

And I'm going to sign a proclamation, and I'll sign it with one pen, but we're going to make sure we have seven pens. And we're going to get you each one. But it's an important proclamation, and we'll do it right now. Thank you all. You have done a fantastic job. I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

So this is the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam war by the President of the United States of America. It's a proclamation. And thank you very much.

[At this point, the President signed the proclamation.]

Good, right? Who's going to get the first pen?

Mr. Reynolds. Timothy.

The President. Okay, good. And we'll get you seven, okay? Well done

[The President handed the pen to Timothy Davis, founder, president, and chief executive officer of the Greatest Generations Foundation.]

Thank you, Timothy. Fantastic job, Timothy. Timothy, take that too.

[The President handed the proclamation to Mr. Davis.]

Thank you all very much. I appreciate it.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:15 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa. In his remarks, he referred to Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin; and Valencia, CA, residents Daniel W. Petkunas and James P. Hackett, Jr.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks on Signing a Proclamation on the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War in Danang, Vietnam Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/331584

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