- Alex Wong/Getty Images
During President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, Trump honored the US Navy SEAL killed in combat during a raid in Yemen.
William “Ryan” Owens was among more than two dozen people killed during the January raid – the first armed services mission ordered by Trump as commander-in-chief.
“Ryan died as he lived – a warrior, a hero, battling against terrorism, and securing our nation,” Trump said. The chamber erupted in applause.
“Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you,” Trump said, turning toward Owens’ widow, Carryn, who was seated next to Ivanka Trump.
Owens stood, visibly emotional, and joined in a standing ovation that stretched on for nearly two minutes.
“Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and I think he’s very happy because I think he just broke a record,” Trump quipped referring to the extended round of applause.
“Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom. And we will never forget Ryan.”
The moment was one of the strongest highlights of Trump’s well-received first address to Congress. Following the speech, Democratic CNN commentator Van Jones said Trump “became president of the United States in that moment, period.”
Watch the moment:
Some US military officials have criticized the Yemen raid, which they said was executed without sufficient intelligence, Reuters reported in early February.
Former President Barack Obama’s administration had deliberated over the mission before he left office on January 20, but held off on approving a raid ahead of his departure, according to Reuters.
NBC News cited US officials on Monday who said the mission produced “no significant intelligence.” Bill Owens, the slain Navy SEAL’s father, suggested in an interview with the Miami Herald that he has some questions for Trump about the raid.
Trump earlier on Tuesday suggested Obama was to blame for the mission’s outcome.