President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump began Mother’s Day weekend by hosting an event honoring military moms at the White House. The event for service members, mothers and spouses took place Friday afternoon in the East Wing and featured a performance by the Army Chorus and Marine Band.
“Thank you for your daily service to your family and, equally as important, to our great, great nation,” the president said before introducing his wife.
"I, too, am a mother,” the first lady said. “However, I have no idea what kind of different challenges each of you must face as the parent of a soldier. And while you stand with many other parents so strong and so proud, I am sure that you sometimes march on this journey alone," she said.
"While your sons and daughters are away serving so selflessly, having a community share even some of that burden must make all the difference in the world,” she continued. “I want you to know you're among that community today, and we are all so proud to be part of it with you. I also want to say thank you for all that you do for your selflessness and for your own sacrifice on behalf of our country.”
I enjoyed hosting the mothers of those who serve in the U.S. military. Thank you to all who sacrifice so much so that we can be free! pic.twitter.com/k56KbSZk5C— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 12, 2017
East Wing Communications Director Stephanie Grisham said the Trumps will celebrate Mother’s Day at the White House, but did not offer details into any further plans for the first family.
Friday’s event, which also fell during Military Appreciation Month, was just the third public address the first lady gave since Inauguration Day.
Trump praised the mother of his youngest son, 11-year-old son, Barron.
“She’s working so hard as your first lady,” he said. “She has become so popular … they had a poll that came out, she went through it like a rocket ship,” he said. “That’s only because people have really gotten to know her,” he said of his wife, whom he also called an “incredible woman.”
The poll the president appears to be citing may be the most-recent poll on record regarding Melania, which was released by CNN/ORC in early March. The survey found that roughly 52 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Melania Trump, a jump from 36 percent prior to the inauguration.
MELANIA OPENS WHITE HOUSE MOVIE THEATER
In addition to hosting the military Mother’s Day event, the first lady also announced the opening of the White House movie theater as part of the self-guided tours in the East Wing for the first time in history.
“The White House belongs to the people of this country,” Trump said in a statement. “I believe everyone who takes the time to visit and tour the White House should have as much access to its rich history and wonderful traditions as possible.”
Self-guided tours in the @WhiteHouse now include movie theater! This house belongs to the people & everyone deserves to enjoy its history!— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 12, 2017
According to the statement, the theater in 1942 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It underwent a major revamping under President Ronald Reagan in the early ’80s, which created tiered rows for 51 seats. Another renovation took place between 2004 and 2005.
The self-guided tours are available on select days and times of the week, and requests for them must go through your local congressmember.