President Donald Trump - along with the First Lady, Vice President Pence and his wife - welcomed 50 wounded service members and veterans to the White House, Thursday, to kick off the ninth annual Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Soldier Ride in Washington, D.C.
The four-day cycling event is meant to help wounded service members and veterans overcome the physical, mental and emotional wounds of war and regain confidence in themselves.
Trump praised the “incredible tradition” for honoring America’s “real heroes” who have sacrificed it all to “keep our people safe and our democracy secure.”
"You’ve earned our freedom with your sweat and your blood. We salute you, we salute your service," Trump told the warriors.
"I call them America's winners, because they're winners,” he added.
Trump said he was proud to carry on the tradition of welcoming the event’s participants to the White House - an honor he said he should have for "about seven more years." The crowd erupted in applause.
Trump concluded by saying that each of the soldiers has carved their place in history and in our hearts.
"Let's have a great ride because, I'll tell you what, I couldn’t do it,” he joked before congratulating the warriors one last time.
Watch Trump's full speech below:
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