9:10 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:
Less than one year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American people and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams. That night, our new administration had already taken very swift action. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.
Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans. (Applause.)
Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We have endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.
Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.
We saw the volunteers of the Cajun Navy, racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a totally devastating hurricane.
We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.
We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania. (Applause.) Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during the Hurricane Harvey. Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water to help save more than 40 lives. Ashlee, we all thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg. He’s here with us also. David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by those devastating wildfires.
To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands — everywhere — we are with you, we love you, and we always will pull through together, always. (Applause.)