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Trump to speak at opening of NYC Veterans Day parade on Monday

Trump to speak at opening of NYC Veterans Day parade on Monday
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE will address veterans and military officials to open the Veterans Day Parade in New York City next week.

Trump will speak at the opening ceremony of the 100th edition of the annual parade at Madison Square Park in Manhattan, the White House said Wednesday. Trump is the first sitting president to accept the invitation to address the event, which is hosted by the United Veterans War Council.

After delivering remarks at the outset of the parade, Trump will lay a wreath at the Eternal Light Memorial in the park.

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More than 20,000 people are expected to participate in next Monday's parade in New York. Veterans, military groups and civic organizations are among the yearly participants.

The United Veterans War Council describes the parade as "a non-partisan, non-political event, and may not be used as a platform for any other purpose or political agenda."

The trip for the parade will mark Trump's second consecutive weekend in New York City, and it comes a short time after he announced he would reclassify himself as a Florida resident.

Trump last year was roundly criticized for skipping a pair of cemetery visits to commemorate Veterans Day.

The president was in Paris for the official holiday last year to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, where he delivered remarks at a U.S. cemetery. But he faced major blowback for skipping a visit to a military cemetery during that trip, a decision he blamed on poor weather.

Trump had no public events scheduled upon his return to Washington, when Veterans Day was observed as a federal holiday. But he did not visit Arlington Cemetery as most presidents do on the holiday, something he later expressed regret over.

“In retrospect I should have, and I did last year and I will virtually every year,” Trump said in an interview a few days later. "But we had come in very late at night and I had just left, literally, the American cemetery in Paris and I really probably assumed that was fine.”