NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump kicked off New York City's Veterans Day Tribute on Monday by saying the nation's veterans "risked everything for us. Now it is our duty to serve and protect them every single day of our lives."

Trump spoke at the opening of the 100th annual parade organized by the United War Veterans Council in Madison Square Park. He is the first sitting president to accept the group's invitation to speak at the event.

As Trump spoke, more than 100 protesters gathered and could be heard with whistles and booing. Some chanted "lock him up" and "shame, shame, shame."

Trump told the crowd that the nation's veterans often came face to face with evil and did not back down.

"You returned from war and you never forgot your friends who didn't return," Trump said. "But your greatest tribute of all is the way you lived your lives in the years since."

Trump also used the event to tout the strength of the U.S. military and the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying "al-Baghdadi is dead. His second in charge is dead. We have our eyes on number 3."

Trump has been a longtime supporter of the parade. The New York Times reported that during the 1990s he pledged $200,000 and offered to raise money from friends in exchange for being named the parade's grand marshal.

Trump is a lifelong New Yorker but recently changed his official residence to Florida, complaining about his treatment by the heavily Democratic city's elected officials.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) comments

Loudoun4Trump

Excellent speech and I'm sure Florida will be happy to take a billionaire from new York any day.....liberals drive people away with their non-stop continuous scam after scam....

LoudounClear

I'm really happy for you. Looking at Trump and seeing something worthy of respect must be an satisfying feeling. Most of us can't manage it.

Loudoun4Trump

Thank you Loudoun Clear....when Obama was destroying the country I probably felt like you feel now....just be thankful for a roaring economy, job plentiful, gas prices low, inflation low, ISIS destroyed, and the wall is going up....all very positive signs that I am very satisfied with....

Duncan Idaho

Can't go anywhere without getting booed, except one of his "rallies", his safe space, where he can handpick his audience.

workhardgetahead

I guess you didnt watch the Alabama/LSU game. 102,000 cheering for the President.

marv

Thank you - it is unfortunate that some jealous people have a 3 stage platform.

1 - Damn Trump

2 - A chicken in every pot

3 - Damn Trump

Duncan Idaho

I watched. I also saw that an alt-right Trump zealot took a knife to the Trump Baby balloon.

Loudoun4Trump

Try LSU Alabama football game of 80,000 cheering President....92% approval rating among those who identify as GOP....Duncan, that leaves you in the 8% like Flake, Romney, McCain, and all the other establishment losers....

Duncan Idaho

Trump says (also without attribution) that it's 95%. He also claims his rally made up for a 15%, 17% or 20% (the number keeps changing because he's making it up) difference in the polls for Matt Bevin. He keeps making up numbers to make himself sound great. The public is on to him.

amerigirl

What else would you expect ? It's Alabama and Louisiana, it doesn't get any redder than that. They wouldn't care ho it was as long as he was republican.

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