- The Washington Times - Monday, April 17, 2017

First lady Melania Trump gave a shoutout Monday to U.S. troops as she welcomed visitors to the 139th annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

“I want to thank the military in this great nation and the servicemen and service women all around the world who are keeping us safe,” said Mrs. Trump, standing beside President Trump and their 11-year-old son Barron on the balcony of the White House residence.

Mr. Trump has focused on building up the U.S. military and projecting American strength around the globe, as tensions with North Korea and Syria overshadow the festive event at the White House.

More than 21,000 adults and children filled the South Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll.

“First time my husband and I are hosting this wonderful tradition,” said Mrs. Trump, who organized the event. “It’s great that all of you are here with us today. I want to thank the military band, staff and all the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make sure you enjoy the activities.”

In his greeting, Mr. Trump said that the country was “right on track.”

“We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before and we are right on track,” the president said from the balcony. “Thank you everybody for coming.”

He also mentioned service members, saying that he and the first lady would be singing cards to send to troops.

Moments later, Mr. Trump blew a whistle to start the egg roll competition.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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