President Donald Trump kicked off his Colorado Springs, Colorado rally Thursday by recognizing the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima and introducing three veterans who had served there in 1945.
All three of them stood when the president called their names — James Blaine, Donald Whipple, and John Thurman — and when the crowd responded with a loud chant of “USA! USA! USA!” one of the three men joined them without a second thought. (RELATED: Century-Old Tuskegee Airman Snaps To Attention And Salutes Trump, Then Smiles And Gives A Finger Gun)
“This month, we mark a very special anniversary,” Trump began. “75 years ago this week, our brave United States Marines landed on the shores of Iwo Jima and began one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War. It was a rough one. Tonight, it’s our great privilege to be joined by three of the heroes of the battle of Iwo Jima: James Blaine, Donald Whipple, and John Thurman.”
The crowd erupted in cheers as the three men stood, two of them removing their caps and waving to the crowd. When the cheers turned to chants of, “USA! USA! USA!” one of the men joined the chant, punching the air for emphasis.
Trump went on to honor another World War II veteran who had sadly passed away just days earlier. “Tonight we also honor the life of an extraordinary American hero, one of the last known survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941,” Trump said. “Donald Stratton, well-known, just passed away. Sadly he passed away just a few days ago, he was great. I have a beautiful picture of him right outside and we are going to honor him and his family. Great, great gentleman. We were going to have four, we have three, I want to thank you all, thank you. Because America is truly a land of heroes.”