In his address to a Joint Session of Congress, President Trump spoke on many topics — the problems wrought by illegal immigration, the need to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and working towards a free and fair international market, among others.
But nothing, nothing, struck the hearts of those attending and those watching at home than his tribute to Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, who was killed in a January raid in Yemen.
The President said:
We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero –- battling against terrorism and securing our Nation.
I just spoke to General Mattis, 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.” Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity.
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 –- we will never forget him.
Owens’s widow Carryn was deeply moved to hear those words. The audience, too, was affected, giving her a sustained standing ovation, honoring the young widow and mother of three children.
Mrs. Owens looked heavenward, tears streaming down her face. I doubt there were many dry eyes in the audience. I know mine weren’t.
Tributes poured in from social media.
From radio host Laura Ingraham:
Ryan Owens' wife received the longest most sustained applause–thousands of American military families live with this grief every day.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 1, 2017
TV and radio host Rita Cosby:
— Rita Cosby (@RitaCosby) March 1, 2017
Advisor to President Trump and terrorism warfare expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka:
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) March 1, 2017
And Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACTforAmerica:
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) March 1, 2017
Brigitte Gabriel was right: we can never repay Ryan Owens and those who lost their lives while in uniform. Let us never forget what they did for the nation, and always hold in esteem the loved ones they left behind.