Nice Moments from the State of the Union

Because we need a change from all the negatives

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Nice Moments from the State of the Union

Photo credit to Newsday.

Photo credit to Newsday.

Photo credit to Newsday.

Photo credit to Newsday.

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On Tuesday night, after a delay, President Trump gave his annual State of the Union address. I could write an article focusing on my criticisms of the speech, but I want to instead focus on what I liked. I think we all can benefit from focusing on the positives in an age of hopeless negativity. So let’s try to look at the glass half-full rather than half-empty. Here are some of my favorite moments from the night:

Honoring D-Day Veterans:

Three American World War II veterans celebrate the 75th of D-Day. Photo credit to The Daily Signal.

This year marks 75 years since D-Day, the turning point of World War II. In the beginning minutes of his speech, Trump took a moment to honor three Americans veterans, Private First Class Joseph Reilly, Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and Sergeant Herman Zeitchik, who fought at Normandy Beach on D-Day. They were met with thunderous applause and a standing ovation from everyone in the House Chamber. This was one of the best things Trump did all night. What better way to celebrate the United States than to have a great tribute to a group of American heroes?

Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin salutes. Photo credit to NASA.

In a year of historical anniversaries, 2019 also represents 50 years since the moon landing. To celebrate this, Buzz Aldrin was present. Like the D-Day veterans, Aldrin received massive cheers and applause. Aldrin, now 89 years old, was aboard Apollo 11 and was the first man on the moon alongside Neil Armstrong. This moment was a nice celebration of American greatness and achievement.

Criminal Justice Reform

Alice Johnson gets emotional during the SOTU. Photo credit to The Hill.

I don’t agree with much Trump does, but I’ll give credit where credit is due. He hit the nail on the head with his guests this year. Minus the bullied kid who fell asleep, the guests were all well-picked and had great success stories. One of the sweetest moments was when Trump introduced Alice Johnson while detailing his criminal justice reforms. Johnson was granted clemency by Trump last June after serving 20 years of a life sentence in prison for a first-time drug offense. At the time, reality TV star Kim Kardashian met with Trump to talk about commuting her sentence, and her appeal was successful. Johnson was swiftly released from prison, going home to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She became so overwhelmed with gratitude during the State of the Union that she started crying. It was truly a beautiful moment to witness someone so grateful for the opportunity to restart her life.

Glimpse of Unity Between Trump and Female Democrats

Democratic women celebrate high female employment. Photo credit to ABC News.

One achievement Trump highlighted in his speech was that women were responsible for filling 58% of new jobs last year. Surprisingly, this got a big reaction from House Democrat women. They got up and cheered, one of the only times they stood for Trump the entire night. The celebrations became even more apparent when Trump then said, “And exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before.” All of the women, mostly recently-elected freshmen Reps, gave that a standing ovation and began a “USA” cheer. This moment of unity was special in a time where bipartisanship is hard to come by. Even Trump seemed sincerely moved by the display.

Grace Eline

Grace Eline gets cheered on by the SOTU attendees, including First Lady Melania Trump. Photo credit to WUWM.

Another one of Trump’s guests was 10 year old cancer survivor Grace Eline. She had been raising money for St. Jude’s Hospital for years prior to her cancer diagnosis, only to become a patient at the hospital herself. After fighting a brain tumor through chemotherapy, Grace was declared cancer-free in October. When Trump acknowledged her in his State of the Union address, he said that she is “determined to help other children who are fighting cancer.” Through donations and dance-a-thons, Grace has raised over $40,000 for cancer research. She certainly is helping other cancer patients with both her charity and her resilience.

Happy Birthday to Judah Samet 

Judah Samet thanks the crowd for singing Happy Birthday to him. Photo credit to The Morning Call.

The best guest from the State of the Union was hands-down Judah Samet, a survivor of both the Holocaust and the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. Trump brought him as a representative of the victims of Anti-Semitism, timely since Jewish hate crimes spiked 37% between 2016 and 2017. Samet was initially applauded for his bravery, but when Trump announced that it was also his 81st birthday, something incredible happened. The entire House Chamber broke out into a rendition of Happy Birthday. After the goosebumps moment was over, Samet got out of his seat and shouted “Thank you!” to the crowd. It was truly a special moment.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Trump’s State of the Union address. I didn’t expect it to be, well, good. Although the State of the Union address doesn’t usually equate to much and Trump was back on Twitter the next morning, for a brief moment in time I felt hopeful that everything would be just fine. Cue a USA chant.