Madison Square Park

Donald Trump greeted with cheers and protests during Veterans Day speech

As Trump hailed US veterans as the “greatest warriors to walk the face of the earth”, Impeachment balloons floated nearby.

ABC News / YouTube

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump drew supporters and attracted displays of protest as he addressed the Veterans Day Parade in New York this evening. 

In what was the first time a US President has accepted an invitation to appear at the Veterans Day Parade, Trump drew cheers as he pointed this out, and recounted the activities of soldiers across the decades.

“Today we come together as one nation to salute the veterans of the US Armed Forces, the greatest warriors to walk the face of the earth,” he told the crowd at Madison Square Park. 

He said that after the September 2001 attacks, the US responded to its “wicked enemies with unwaving courage (sic), unbreakable spirit, and resolve that is deeper than oceans, fiercer than fires and stronger than steel”.

Large signs spelling out the words “Convict” and “Impeach” were hung in the windows of a building across from where Trump was giving his speech.

nyc-trump-protest-at-the-veterans-day-parade Members of Rise and Resist gathered at Madison Square Park. Erik McGregor Erik McGregor

As Trump addressed the crowd in an unusually prepared speech, protesters gathered nearby with signs bearing slogans like “Veterans Against Trump”, “Trump Betrayed Our Troops”, and “Cadet Bone Spurs”. 

‘Cadet Bone Spurs’ or ‘Commander Bone Spurs’ refers to Trump’s reported avoidance of the Vietnam War draft in 1968, through receiving a diagnosis for bone spurs in his heels. Bone spurs are projections that form where bones meet, particularly in the joints.

Other protesters chanted “Lock him up!” in reference to a mantra used by Trump against his former presidential opponent Hillary Clinton. 

Trump has been criticised from US military quarters before for comments he made about two-time presidential candidate John McCain who was taken prisoner and tortured during the Vietnam War.

“He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said in 2015. 

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