U.S. President Donald Trump paid tribute on Monday to all the men and women who have served in all the wars this country has participated in, in an emotional message at the traditional parade of veterans in the Big Apple.

Trump, the first president to participate in the event, which this Monday commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and the beginning of this parade, said it is time to recognize the sacrifice of all soldiers.

“They risked everything for us. Now it is our duty to serve them and protect them every day of our lives,” said the president, received by protests, who was accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump and who recalled that there are 18 million veterans across the country.

The event, in lower Manhattan and the largest in the country, was attended by veterans of various wars as well as the mayor of the city, Democrat Bill de Blasio, a critic of the policies of the Trump Administration, as well as the chief of police, James O’Neill, Senator Chuck Schumer and Eric, the son of the president.

Trump, who addressed about 200 people prior to the United War Veterans Council’s stop, which is Marching 25,000 along Fifth Avenue, recalled the end of the First World War.

“In 1919 people filled the streets of New York to greet General Pershing (John Pershing led the U.S. Expeditionary Force in World War I) and the 25,000 soldiers after victory and more than 116,000 made the ultimate sacrifice” in that conflict, he recalled.

“At 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Armistice was signed and the war was over,” the president noted, while those protesting against Trump could be heard shouting “lock him up”.

Signs in skyscraper windows could also be seen with the words “judge him” and “condemn him” in reference to the investigation for a impeachment trial being conducted by the U.S. House of Representatives.

House President Nancy Pelossi, announced last September 24 the opening of a political trial investigation against Trump following a telephone conversation that the governor had with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelenski.

Trump reviewed all the conflicts in which the United States has been involved and proudly hailed the effective response of its soldiers, including the terrorist attack on the twin towers in 2001 and the recent military action in October in Syria that put an end to the life of the leader of the Islamic state, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“Thanks to American warriors, al-Baghdadi is dead,” Trump said, adding that “his reign of terror is over”.

“We promise we will never forget them,” the president assured veterans of those he said “protected our freedom” and referred to as “our living heroes” during an event that observed a minute’s silence as the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I was commemorated Monday and a floral arrangement was placed in Madson Square Park from where he addressed his message.

Soon after, the military parade began, with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, another fierce critic of Trump, also participating.

This is Trump’s first visit to New York, where he was born and lived for decades before arriving at the White House, after changing his official residence and that of his family to Florida, a state with greater tax advantages.

According to Trump, he made that decision because the city and state political leaders “have treated me very badly”.

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