Remarks at a Welcoming Ceremony for Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia
President Trump. Thank you. Prime Minister Morrison, Mrs. Morrison, members of the Australian delegation, and distinguished guests: Today we celebrate the long, cherished, and unwavering friendship between the United States and Australia. The First Lady and I are honored to welcome you and Jennifer to the White House, and we look forward to hosting you for a state dinner tonight in the Rose Garden. It will be quite something.
The unbreakable bond between America and Australia is rooted in eternal ties of history, culture, and tradition. Last year, our nations commemorated "100 Years of Mateship" since our gallant service members fought together in World War I. Today we vow to carry on the righteous legacy of our exceptional alliance.
The close relationship between our two countries dates back to the earliest days of the American Republic. In 1792, during George Washington's first term, the American ship Philadelphia became the first foreign trading vessel to enter an Australian port. In the coming decades, American prospectors, whalers, and merchants traveled to Australia for opportunity and adventure. They found in your people a kindred spirit. Americans and Aussies are loyal, bold, independent, and very, very resilient.
With incredible optimism and grit, our forefathers built homes and nations in lands of endless beauty and possibility. Together, we share common customs, common values, common dreams, and common heroes. In the First World War, our bond was sealed in blood at the Battle of Hamel in France. In the words of Australian General John Monash, the events that took place there "live forever in the annals of our respective nations."
General Monash led the operation, and began the offensive on the Fourth of July, 1918, to honor the Americans under his command. On that Independence Day, the mighty Aussie and American forces charged uphill to push the enemy from the high ground and retake the strategically vital towns. In just 93 minutes, they liberated the village and helped turn the tide on the western front. It went very, very quickly.
As General Monash later wrote, the Americans "were ever after received by the Australians as blood brothers." Since that day, Australians and Americans have fought together, side-by-side, in every major conflict. In World War II, the Aussies held the line against Rommel for 8 harrowing months—Tobruk. They sacrificed [with]* our sailors during the Battle of Coral Sea. And 75 years ago, Aussie pilots patrolled the skies above Normandy on D-Day as we battled together to defeat the Nazis and rescue civilization.
The United States and Australia formalized our security alliance in 1951. Decades later, on September 10, 2001, right here at the White House, our nations celebrated the 50th anniversary of that treaty. The next morning, September 11, America was attacked and Australia invoked the treaty's mutual defense commitment for the first time ever. In the weeks that followed, as our beloved sons and daughters deployed to defend our freedom, we took comfort in knowing that they would have Australian warriors right by their side.
Today, on National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day, we pledge to forever honor our servicemembers captured or still missing from battle throughout our history. We work and pray for the day when all of our heroes return home. On behalf of every American, I extend my profound thanks to the people of Australia for sacrificing with us in our shared fights against the menace of fascism, communism, and radical Islamic terrorism.
In the past century, the friendship between our nations has not only withstood the tests of time and war here on Earth, but also led our nations into the stars. This year, the United States commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Today we give thanks to the nation of Australia for its vital contributions to the extraordinary achievement. On July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong planted our great American flag on the face of the Moon, the ground station broadcasting this iconic image to the world was Australian.
Together, our people have laid down their lives to protect our civilization from tyranny. We have pioneered some of the most remarkable advances in human history. And every shared endeavor, we have shown the world what it truly means to be friends, mates, and allies.
As we begin the next century of our truly extraordinary partnership, I know that America and Australia will remain forever united in defense of our liberty, our sovereignty, and our most treasured values.
Thank you, God bless you, God bless Australia, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.
Prime Minister Morrison. Thank you, Mr. President. Let's say, "Thanks, mate."
President Trump. Thanks, mate. [Laughter]
Prime Minister Morrison. Well, as I just said to the President, "Thanks, mate." [Laughter]
Mr. President, Mrs. Trump, honored guests, distinguished guests, friends one and all, here in this land of liberty: Thank you, Mr. President and Mrs. Trump, for the honor you have bestowed on my country here today with this extraordinary welcome. Jenny and I bring with us and our delegation the amity, the thanks, and respect of 25 million Australians for this great country of these United States of America.
Fifty years ago, another Australian Prime Minister visited the White House. And he said, "There are too many bonds between our two countries for any Australian Prime Minister to feel that he is stranger." So once again, as another Prime Minister returns as a friend to celebrate with you, Mr. President, one of our oldest and dearest friendships, it is wonderful to be here.
Australians and Americans understand each other like few other peoples. And it is true that you and I have established a very early understanding, for which I am grateful. No two peoples in the world make better friends easier than ours. Your respect for Australia, Mr. President, your personal encouragement, and the example afforded by your passion for what makes America great makes ours a very easy connection.
For a century, as you have recounted, we have done what true friends do: stick by each other. Ronald Reagan spoke of the "truths and traditions" that define the United States. Australians share these truths and traditions. We see the world through the same lens. From the cornfields of Hamel, to the jungles of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, to the dust of Tarin Kowt, and now, even the waters of the Straits of Hormuz, Australians and Americans continue to stand together.
I'm reminded of a story of a young American soldier in the First World War calling out to Australian soldiers for help to attend to the wounded. And an Australian soldiers replied in the notorious, blunt language of soldiers, which I will censor here. [Laughter] But he said: "Sure, Yank, I'll go. We're in this thing together." [Laughter] Mr. President—[laughter]—Australia may often—look, he's a New Yorker. [Laughter] Mr. President, Australia may often look to the United States, but we have never been a country that been prepared to leave it to the United States. We don't. That's not our way. We pull our weight.
Like you, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor are found in our willingness to stand for what we believe. We believe, as Teddy Roosevelt declared, that national strength is found in the ability of citizens to live out their lives with "self-restraint, self-mastery, common sense, the power of accepting individual responsibility," and the ability to act "in conjunction with others" and with "courage and resolution."
We believe in the capacity of enterprise and free markets to create wealth and to lift all and for free and fair trade to bring nations closer together. We believe that governments derive their power from the consent of the governed and that the ballot box and democracy is the surest foundation for peace and security. And we believe in the rule of law and freedom of association.
These beliefs spurred this country to build a mighty canal; to stand up to fascism and militarism; to rebuild the modern world after winning a great peace; inspired the fascination, wonder, and joy of the world's children through a little mouse who could whistle a tune; who took humanity to the Moon—and, indeed, we're going back again; tore down a wall that separated liberty from oppression; and imagined, engineered, and built a digital world that has connected humanity in a way that we now can't imagine living without. America reminds the world that it can be done. How great is America.
The world is a better place because of this country living out its moral purpose, a world not just more secure, but more prosperous as well. The new economies of the world lifting hundreds of millions from poverty do so because they first saw the United States define a century and do that first and then invited and supported them to follow.
Mr. President, I know that the leaders of more powerful nations will indeed visit this home known throughout the world and will be welcomed as friends. But you won't find a more sure and steadfast friend—a better mate—than Australia.
It is a coincidence of history that on the very day Pearl Harbor was attacked, Australia gifted a 99-year lease to the United States to build its Embassy on our capital. And 60 years later, as the President has remarked, on September 11, another Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, was here in Washington at our Embassy, and he invoked our treaty with you and pledged our country to stand with you against the architects of terror, as we do to this day.
When President Reagan welcomed another Australian Prime Minister on this lawn, he reminded us, "Liberty is not an inevitable state, and there is no law which guarantees that once achieved it will survive." So we pledge ourselves here at this dawn of a second century of mateship between our nations to renew and modernize our alliance for a new century, to continue to be vigilant and strong, and to build the economic strength that our world needs, that contributes to the peace and prosperity of all.
Whatever lies ahead in this century, I know that Australian and the United States will go on to meet it with the same courage, the same daring, the same unbreakable bond that has defined the first century of mateship.
Mr. President and Mrs. Trump, thank you again for welcoming Jen and me here—and here as true friends. May God bless you. May God bless the good peoples of the Commonwealth of Australia and these United States of America.
President Trump. That's great. Great job.
NOTE: The President spoke at 9:20 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House, where Prime Minister Morrison was accorded a formal welcome with full military honors.<p>* White House correction.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks at a Welcoming Ceremony for Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/333871