President Trump offered a history lesson at the New York City Veterans Day Parade Monday, returning to his home city and state to mark the holiday. Mr. Trump and the first lady are also laying a wreath in Madison Square Park.
"To each veteran of the war, the glory of your deeds will only grow greater with time," Mr. Trump said. "This city is graced with your presence. This nation is forever in your debt and we thank you all."
He noted the presence of veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the war on terror.
"You are the reason our hearts swell with pride, our foes tremble with fear, and our nation thrives in freedom."
This year, the parade honors the nation's Marines. The president noted it was particularly fitting to honor veterans in New York City.
"It is very fitting that the Veterans Day Parade begin right here in New York City," Mr. Trump said. "Since the earliest days of our nation, New York has exemplified the American spirit, and has been at the heart of our nation's story of daring and defiance."
Mr. Trump is the first sitting president to attend the event. The address comes days after a court determined the president must donate $2 million to charitable causes including to veterans, after Trump Foundation funds from a January 2016 fundraiser for veterans were allegedly used instead for political purposes. Asked for a reaction to the president admitting to the misuse of funds, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie on Friday said, "I have no reaction to that," adding that the president's record on veterans' issues speaks for itself.
Mr. Trump's speech precedes a particularly hectic and historic week in Washington. Wednesday marks the first day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into the president, along with a White House visit and press conference alongside Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
As the president spoke Monday, a large sign in windows in a building near the square read, "IMPEACH." Chants of "lock him up" could be heard coming from the crowd.
Mr. Trump has announced he is moving his residency from New York to Florida, where he will live whenever his run as president comes to an end.