Without a doubt, the most talked about moment from President Donald Trump’s first address before a joint session of Congress was the incredibly touching standing ovation that was given to the wife of a fallen military hero.
The emotional moment came when Trump discussed challenges facing the U.S.; he praised the American people and, in particular, “those who fight for America in uniform.” It was at that point that the president called out a special guest in the audience.
“We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William ‘Ryan’ Owens,” Trump proclaimed. “Ryan died as he lived — a warrior, and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation.”
As Trump spoke, the camera panned over to a visibly emotional Owens, who was in tears as she looked up toward the heavens. At that moment, members of the joint Congress rose together in rousing applause.
But it didn’t end there, as Trump continued to praise Ryan Owens, leading to what might be the longest standing ovation in the history of a joint congressional meeting.
“I just spoke to our great General Mattis, just now, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, ‘Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies,'” Trump said. “Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you.”
It was that moment that sparked the most fervent applause, as the audience stood and clapped for over a minute and a half, with Carryn Owens visibly overtaken by emotion and tears.
“And Ryan is looking down right now and he’s very happy because I think he just broke a record,” Trump continued. “For as the Bible teaches us, ‘There is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom — and we will never forget Ryan.”
The Jan. 28, Yemen raid that Trump referenced during the speech has sparked some debate, considering that it cost Owens and 29 civilians their lives. While the Trump administration has framed it as successful, some in Congress — and, most notably, Owens’ father, Bill Owens — have had some questions about how and why it unfolded.
For his part, Bill Owens has said he wants an investigation into the death of his son, and the grieving father has been less-than-silent about his frustrations with the mission authorized by Trump, as CNN reported.
Other Must-Read Stories: