The emotional high point of President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress last night came when he recognized the presence of Carryn Owens, the widow of slain Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens (video below). The speech had several emotional moments, but this was certainly the emotional high point of such speeches going back many years.
In Mrs. Owens David French sees “The face of sacrifice.” Mark Hemingway observes that “[s]ome critics will complain that these contrived moments at State of the Union addresses are always manipulative. Perhaps there’s something to that,” he concedes. “That doesn’t change the fact that the sacrifices of men like Ryan Owens—and the widows such as Carryn they leave behind—deserve to be remembered.”
Observers noted that Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Keith Ellison remained unmoved. They stayed seated and declined to join in the applause.
Ryan Owens was killed in the special operations raid on al Qaeda in Yemen on January 29, nine days into the Trump presidency. The AP’s Jonathan Lemire is not content to let Trump’s tribute stand. He wants it known that the mission is a matter of controversy that Trump was “litigat[ing]” last night.
NBC News had earlier reported that the raid yielded “no sigifnicant intelligence” and, according to the media yesterday, Trump had “blamed the military” for Owens’s death in an interview with FOX News yesterday morning when he stated that “they lost Ryan” on the mission (see video clip posted here). That’s not the way I heard it, but on this we can agree. Somebody’s litigating something.