Trump Makes V-J Day Visit to Battleship

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) -
With the Battleship North Carolina in the background, President Donald Trump speaks during an event to designate Wilmington as the first American World War II Heritage City, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Wilmington, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

As thunderstorms threatened, President Donald Trump gave a V-J Day speech on Wednesday, trumpeting American strength.

Trump stood before an iconic World War II-era battleship to declare the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, a World War II “Heritage City.” He pointed to a bolt of lightning and said it was God saluting the event.

He honored war veterans, including 97-year-old Hershel “Woody” Williams, the sole surviving Marine from the war to receive the Medal of Honor. The West Virginia native fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific.

“He’s 100 percent sharp,” Trump said of Williams, who traveled to the key battleground state with the president aboard Air Force One.

Wilmington has been home to the Battleship North Carolina since 1962. The ship is now a floating museum. On Sept. 2, 1945, Japan’s formal surrender took place aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.

Congress passed a bill earlier this year that included a provision requiring the secretary of the interior to annually designate one city in the United States as an “American World War II Heritage City.” Wilmington is the first city to get that designation.