Americans have been urged not to travel to Washington, DC. The National Mall, which usually sees thousands of people gathering to watch the new president being sworn in, will also be closed to the general public because of security concerns related to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol.
Instead, it was illuminated with 56 “pillars of light” and close to 200,000 flags in an art display representing the people who are unable to attend the presidential inauguration because of the pandemic and security measures.
Today, 45th President of the United States, Donald John Trump, addressed the United States for the last time.
Having assumed office in January 2017, Trump was the first billionaire President of the United States, with the core of his fortune tied up in half-dozen buildings around New York City, golf courses, and a winery.
In his 19-minute farewell message, Trump thanked the people who made this journey possible for him – his wife Melania, children Ivanka, Barron, Don, Eric, Tiffany, son-in-law Jared, and daughter-in-law Lara.
He went on expressing his gratitude to Vice President Mike Pence and family, his Chief of Staff Mark Edwards, members of the White House, his Cabinet, and all who stood by, and with him, in his quest to make America great again.
A special mention was also given to the United States Secret Service, White House Military Office, Marine One and Air Force One, members of the Armed forces, and state and local law enforcement across the country.
“Most of all, I want to thank the American people. To serve as your President has been an honor beyond description. Thank you for this extraordinary privilege. And that’s what it is — a great privilege and a great honor,” he said.
Recalling the day he first stepped into office, from one without political background, and the challenges faced, Trump knew that America was a country full of possibilities.
Realising this, he started a mission to make America a great nation again.
“With the support and prayers of the American people, we achieved more than anyone thought possible. Nobody thought we could even come close,” he said proudly.
Despite not gaining a new term, President Trump achieved a few milestones; he played a crucial role in brokering peace agreements between Israel and 4 Arab countries, led America to become the world’s largest producer of crude oil in 2018 surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia, he is the first American President to meet one-on-one with dictator Kim Jong-un as well as stepping foot into North Korea.
“As President, my top priority, my constant concern, has always been the best interests of American workers and American families. I did not seek the easiest course; by far, it was actually the most difficult.
“I did not seek the path that would get the least criticism. I took on the tough battles, the hardest fights, the most difficult choices because that’s what you elected me to do. Your needs were my first and last unyielding focus, he said.
In his farewell speech, he also wished his successor, President-Elect Biden, the best, as he takes the oath of office as the 46th President, in an inauguration ceremony in the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops.
Read his full speech.