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Trump kicks off Asia journey with visits to Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona memorial

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — President Trump paid a solemn go to Friday to Pearl Harbor and its memorial to the united statesArizona, a hallowed place he mentioned he had examine, mentioned and studied however had by no means visited till simply earlier than opening his first official go to to Asia, the longest journey to the continent by a sitting president in additional than 25 years. 

Mr. Trump saluted after getting into the memorial following a brief boat experience with first girl Melania Trump. They approached a wreath of white flowers — a present from the couple — and watched as two sailors who stood beside it at consideration positioned the wreath close to a wall of names of the fallen. 

Pearl Harbor was the scene of a shock assault by Japan that plunged the U.S. into World Warfare II, killing a whole lot of service members. 

After the wreath was positioned, the Trumps tossed white flower petals into the waters above the battleship’s sunken hull. 

President Trump and first girl Melania Trump supply flowers at the united statesArizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, Friday, Nov. three, 2017.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Mr. Trump didn’t communicate publicly on the memorial. He mentioned throughout an earlier assembly Friday with navy officers that he eagerly anticipated the go to. 

“We’re going to go to very shortly, Pearl Harbor, which I’ve examine, spoken about, heard about, studied, however I have never seen. And that’s going to be very thrilling for me,” Mr. Trump mentioned in the beginning of a briefing with leaders of the U.S. Pacific Command, which oversees U.S. navy operations within the area. 

Mr. Trump stopped in Hawaii on the eve of his first go to to Asia. He arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Friday after a daylong flight from Washington. He departs Saturday for Japan, the primary cease on the five-nation, 11-day journey that will even take him to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The president shortly donned a lei after he left Air Power One together with his spouse, who additionally wore a wreath of flowers. He signed autographs and gave high-fives to children who had been amongst a gaggle of civilians and repair members that gathered for the arrival. 

Mr. Trump wasn’t the one attraction to reach on base. A number of within the crowd shouted their admiration for White Home chief of workers John Kelly. 

“We love you Gen. Kelly,” one particular person shouted on the retired four-star Marine basic who stood a number of ft behind the president. 

Mr. Trump was briefed by leaders of the U.S. Pacific Command. The rising risk from North Korea – a disaster that can shadow your entire journey – was anticipated to be among the many matters mentioned. Mr. Trump was additionally assembly with the governors of Alaska, Hawaii and Pacific U.S. territories, all potential targets of any profitable try by North Korea to strike the U.S. with a nuclear-tipped missile. 

The usArizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor marks the ultimate resting place of greater than 1,000 sailors and Marines who had been killed on the battleship throughout the shock Japanese assault on Dec. 7, 1941. Accessible solely by boat, the memorial straddles the ship’s sunken hull.

A complete of greater than 2,300 sailors, troopers and Marines died because of the assault, in addition to 68 civilians, in keeping with the Nationwide Park Service.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Related Press contributed to this report.

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