First Lady Melania Trump released a farewell message Monday as she prepares to leave the White House, saying that “violence is never the answer,” weeks after the president’s supporters stormed the US Capitol.
In a formal, six-minute speech recorded on video, she made only a fleeting reference to her husband as she paid tribute to military families, pandemic health workers and those helping victims of opioid abuse.
“The past four years have been unforgettable,” the First Lady said. “As Donald and I conclude our time in the White House, I think of all of the people I have taken home in my heart and their incredible stories of love, patriotism and determination.”
“Be passionate in everything you do. But always remember that violence is never the answer, and will never be justified,” she said.
“When I came to the White House, I reflected on the responsibility I have always felt as a mother to encourage, give strength and teach values of kindness.”
The Trumps’ departure has been fractious, with the president refusing for months to accept the election result due to false allegations of fraud, and declining to congratulate his successor Joe Biden.
The outgoing president and his wife have also not invited Biden and his wife Jill for the traditional tea visit in the Oval Office, and will not attend Biden’s presidential inauguration on Wednesday.
“The promise of this nation belongs to all of us who do not lose sight of our integrity and values, use every opportunity to show consideration for another person, and build good habits into our daily lives,” Melania Trump, 50, said.
President Donald Trump has been largely out of the public eye since his supporters rampaged through Congress on January 6, triggering his historic second impeachment a week later.
My fellow Americans,
It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as First Lady of the United States.
I have been inspired by incredible Americans across our country who lift up our communities through their kindness and courage, goodness and grace.
The past four years have been unforgettable. As Donald and I conclude our time in the White House, I think of all the people I have taken home in my heart and their incredible stories of love, patriotism, and determination.
I see the faces of brave young soldiers who have told me with pride in their eyes how much they love serving this country. To every service member and to our incredible military families: You are heroes, and you will always be in my thoughts and prayers.
I think of all the members of law enforcement who greet us wherever we go. At every hour of every day, they stand guard to keep our communities safe, and we are forever in their debt.
I have been moved by children I have visited in hospitals and foster care centers. Even as they fight difficult illnesses or face challenges, they bring such a joy to everyone they meet.
I remember the mothers who have battled the disease of Opioid addiction, and have overcome incredible hardships for love of their children.
I have been inspired by the devoted caregivers for babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and communities that give these children the support and care they need to grow.
When I think about these meaningful experiences, I am humbled to have had the opportunity to represent a nation with such kind and generous people.
As the world continues to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, I thank all the nurses, doctors, healthcare professionals, manufacturing workers, truck drivers, and so many others who are working to save lives.
We grieve for the families who have lost a loved one due to the pandemic. Every life is precious, and I ask all Americans to use caution and common sense to protect the vulnerable as millions of vaccines are now being delivered.
In the midst of this hardship, we have seen the best of America shine through. Students have made cards and delivered groceries to our Senior Citizens. Teachers have worked twice as hard to keep our children learning.
Families have come together to provide meals, supplies, comfort and friendship to those in need.
Be passionate in everything you do but always remember that violence is never the answer and will never be justified.
When I came to the White House, I reflected on the responsibility I have always felt as a mother to encourage, give strength, and teach values of kindness. It is our duty as adults and parents to ensure that children have the best opportunities to lead fulfilling and healthy lives.
The passion for helping children succeed would drive my policy initiative as First Lady.
I launched Be Best to ensure that we as Americans are doing everything we can to take care of the next generation. Be Best has concentrated on three pillars: well-being, online safety, and opioid abuse.
In a few short years, I have raised awareness of how to keep children safe online; we have made incredible progress on our nation’s drug epidemic and how it impacts the lives of newborns and families, and we have given a voice to our most vulnerable children in the foster care system.
Internationally, Be Best has evolved into a platform that encourages world leaders to discuss issues impacting the lives of children and allows them to share solutions. It has been an honor to represent the American people abroad. I treasure each of my experiences and the inspiring people I have met along the way.
As I say farewell to my role as First Lady, it is my sincere hope that every American will do their part to teach our children what it means to Be Best. I ask parents to educate your children about the courageous and selfless heroes who worked and sacrificed to make this country the land of the free. And to lead by example and care for others in your community.
The promise of this Nation belongs to all of us. Do not lose sight of your integrity and values. Use every opportunity to show consideration for another person and build good habits into your daily lives.
In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador of Be Best. To focus on what unites us. To rise above what divides us. To always choose love over hatred, peace over violence, and others before yourself.
Together, as one national family, we can continue to be the light of hope for future generations and carry on America’s legacy of raising our nation to greater heights through our spirit of courage, goodness and faith.
No words can express the depth of my gratitude for the privilege of having served as your First Lady.
To all the people of this country: You will be in my heart forever.
Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.