President Trump on Wednesday attended a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to mark Veterans Day — Trump’s first public event since he was projected to have lost the presidential election to President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, along with first lady Melania Trump, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence.
President Donald Trump participates in a Veterans Day wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“On Veterans Day, we pause to pay tribute to all who have proudly worn our Nation’s uniform. These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen selflessly placed lives, well‑being, and security of others before their own,” Trump said in a proclamation issued hours before the event.
“We enjoy the privileges of peace, prosperity, and freedom because of our veterans, and we are forever indebted to them beyond measure,” he said.
It will mark Trump’s first official public event since media outlets, including Fox News, called the presidential race for Biden on Saturday. Trump has railed against that result, alleging mass voter fraud and launching a number of legal challenges in battleground states.
On Monday, he fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and has also sent out a number of tweets criticizing Biden and making allegations of fraud in the election — allegations of which his campaign has struggled to provide supporting evidence.
Biden, meanwhile, released his own statement for Veterans Day on Wednesday and made reference to his election win.
“This Veterans Day, I feel the full weight of the honor and the responsibility that has been entrusted to me by the American people as the next president, and I vow to honor our country’s sacred obligation,” he said.
“To all of our proud veterans, know that I will be a commander in chief who respects your sacrifice, understands your service, and who will never betray the values you fought so bravely to defend. I will never treat you or your families with anything less than the honor you deserve,” he said.
Fox News’ Pat Ward and The Associated Press contributed to this report.