Read first lady Melania Trump’s speech from the 2020 Republican National Convention, according to a logged transcript:
Good evening, it seems like just yesterday that we were at our first convention, where my husband accepted the Republican nomination and then became our 45th president of the United States. He had the energy and enthusiasm for (someone) who should lead this nation. It’s real today as it was four years ago. I know I speak for my husband and the entire family when I say we have not forgotten the incredible people who were willing to take a chance on the businessman who has never worked in politics. We know it was you who elected him to be commander in chief. And we know it is you who will carry us through again. We were humbled by the incredible support then and we are still grateful today.
I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed drastically. The invisible enemy, Covid-19, swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us. My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering. I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you are not alone. My husband’s administration will not stop fighting until there is an effective treatment or vaccine available to everyone. Donald will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic. I want to extend my gratitude to all of the health care professionals, front line workers and teachers who stepped up in these difficult times. Despite the risk to yourselves and your own families, you put our country first and my husband and I are grateful. I have been moved by the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and often frightening situation. It is in times like this that we will look back and tell our grandchildren that through kindness and compassion, strength and determination, we were able to restore the promise of our future. Businesses stepped up, and volunteers stepped in. People were eager to share ideas, resources, and support of all kinds with neighbors and strangers alike.
It has been inspiring to see what the people of our great nation will do for one another, especially when we are at our most fragile. Speaking of strength and determination, we recently celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. Yesterday, on the north lawn of the White House, we unveiled an exhibit dedicated to women’s suffrage. The exhibit called on children from across the country to send art honoring the meaning of this important time in women’s history. When I was judging the entries, I reflected on the impact of women’s voices in our nation’s story, and how proud I would be to cast my vote again for Donald this November. We must make sure that women are heard and that the American dream continues to thrive.
Growing up as a young child in Slovenia, which was under communist rule at the time, I always heard about an amazing place called America — a land that stood for freedom and opportunity. As I grew older it became my goal to move to the United States and follow my dream of working in the fashion industry. My parents worked very hard to ensure our family could not only leave and prosper in America, but also contribute to a nation that allows for people to arrive with a dream and make it reality.
I want to take the moment to thank my mother and father for all that they have done for our family. It is because of you that I am standing here today.
I arrived in the United States when I was 26 years old. Living and working in the land of opportunity was a dream come true, but I wanted more. I wanted to be a citizen. After 10 years of paperwork and patience, I studied for the test in 2006 and became an American citizen.
It is still one of the proudest moments in my life, because with hard work and determination I was able to achieve my own American dream. As an immigrant and a very independent woman, I understand what a privilege it is to live here and to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that we have. As first lady, I have been fortunate to see the American dream come true over and over again. I have met many inspiring women, children, parents, and families who have overcome life-changing issues that include addiction, homelessness, family members who are ill or have passed away, abuse of all kinds and many other challenges that would make most people give up. The past 3-1/2 years have been unforgettable. There are no words to describe how honored, humbled and fortunate I am to serve our nation as your first lady.
After many of the experiences I’ve had, I don’t know if I can fully explain how many people I take home with me in my heart each day. From brave soldiers who give up so much so that we can be free to children of all circumstances, who I have met around the world. Thank you for inspiring me. It is my greatest honor to serve you. When I speak to members of the military, despite sacrificing time with their families, (experiencing) the fear of war or suffering loss, they have no regrets about serving our country. The same goes for their families and the families of first responders, who often watch their loved ones walk out the door, not sure if or when they will come home. When I speak to families who have lost someone, the pain mixed with pride I hear in their voices is something I think about often. So thank you to all who serve our country in the military and as first responders. And thank you to the families who wait for them, you are all heroes in your own right. I have also been moved by the many children and families I have spent time with at hospitals, schools and other locations around the world. Children who are dealing with pain or illness that would break even the strongest adult. Parents who are grateful to wake up every day and see that their child is still alive. These families are a testament to what faith and medicine, strength and science can do.
On my first international trip as first lady, my husband and I visited places of great significance to the three major religions. Islam, Christianity and Judaism, one special memory from the trip is of a young boy. I had the privilege of visiting him while at Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, Italy. While there I read the little boy a story and learned that he and his family had been waiting for a heart for a very long time and he had a grim prognosis. His situation brought my staff and me to tears and we spoke of little else as we flew to Belgium for the next part of our trip. Upon landing just a few hours later, we learned that a heart had been donated and would be going to the little one. I think about him often. Along with so many amazing and strong young patients across our own country. More profound and sadly unavoidable examples of our country’s strength and character have occurred in the communities that have been impacted by natural disasters. Hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding must show the ugly side of mother nature but in their aftermath they can show us a beautiful side of humanity. My husband and I have visited many places that have been affected by natural disasters and we are deeply moved by the strength of the people who have lost everything and the kindness of neighbors and communities. The common thread in all of these challenging situations is the unwavering resolve to help one another.
I recognize the stories I just told about people who survive extraordinary circumstances. But Donald and I are also inspired by the millions of Americans who wake up each day with a simple yet courageous goal of providing for their families and keeping them safe. You are the backbone of this country. You are the people who continue to make the united states of America what it is, and who have the incredible responsibility of preparing our future generations to leave everything even better than they found it.
Just as you are fighting for your families, my husband, our family, and the people in this administration are here fighting for you. No matter the amount of negative or false media headlines or attacks from the other side, Donald Trump has not and will not lose focus on you. He loves this country and he knows how to get things done. As you have learned over the past five years, he is not a traditional politician. He doesn’t just speak words. He demands action and he gets results. The future of our country has always been very important to him, and it is something that I have always admired.
In fact, it is to help ensure a better future for our next generation that I launched Be Best – my initiative to help children achieve their fullest potential. Be Best has one simple goal: teaching youth about the importance of their well-being, both mentally and physically. This also includes understanding online safety and the dangers of opioid and drug abuse. Through Be Best, my office and I have been able to highlight people and organizations that are doing extraordinary things in our country and around the world. I continue to believe that by shining a light on these positive examples others across the country will be inspired to do their part or our next generation. Helping children is not a political goal; it is our moral imperative.
When I think back to a defining moment of Be Best, my mind goes to a trip I took to Africa. On that vast and beautiful continent, I was able to visit the countries of Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. One of those visits in particular had a profound impact on me. Ghana, on the coast of West Africa, was the first stop on my trip and I experienced first-hand its warm people and their traditions. While there, I visited the Cape Coast Castle and learned more about the beginning of a cr