Even the president's harshest critics gave him praise for the powerful speech:
Trump took time to honor several of the American veterans present by name, including former Army medic Arnold Raymond “Ray” Lambert, who is now 98 years old.
Lambert was one of just six men who survived from his landing craft, was shot in the arm, had his leg ripped open by shrapnel, and suffered a broken back, but he continued to attempt to save others on the beach and in the water for hours.
“Ray, the free world salutes you,” Trump said as the crowd gave Lambert a standing ovation.
The president paused his speech at that point to walk over to Lambert and shake his hand. Lambert responded by tipping his “D-Day veteran” hat to the president, according to the White House print pool.
“This is perhaps the most on-message moment of Donald Trump’s presidency today. We were all wondering if he would veer from his remarks, go off of his script but he stayed on script, stayed on message and, I think, rose to the moment,” Acosta said on CNN immediately following the speech.
President Trump focused on the importance of the moment. This was a moment of leadership that will be remembered for a long time.
“[Trump] delivered what, again, I believe is the strongest speech of his presidency,” Scarborough said, noting that it was a “beautiful moment” when Trump acknowledged that many of the troops feel the “heroes were the ones that never came back” but the survivors formed a remarkable generation.