Obama urges nation to ‘unite’ after bitter election

People protest against US President-elect Donald Trump in Miami, Florida, US November 11, 2016. (Reuters)

Three days after Election Day, President Barack Obama used his last Veterans Day speech to urge Americans to learn from the example of veterans as a divided nation seeks to “forge unity” after the bitter 2016 campaign.

Obama’s comments came after protesters demonstrated against the election of Donald Trump gathered in several US cities for
a third night on Friday.

Obama, in remarks at Arlington National Cemetery, noted that Veterans Day often comes on the heels of hard-fought campaigns that “lay bare disagreements across our nation.”

“But the American instinct has never been to find isolation in opposite corners,” Obama said. “It is to find strength in our common creed, to forge unity from our great diversity, to maintain that strength and unity even when it is hard.”

He added that now that the election is over, “as we search for ways to come together, to reconnect with one another and with the principles that are more enduring than transitory politics, some of our best examples are the men and women we salute on Veterans Day.”

Obama noted that the US military is the country’s most diverse institution, comprised of immigrants and native-born service members representing all religions and no religion. He says they are all “forged into common service.”

Tuesday’s election of Republican Donald Trump led to protests across the country.

Anti-Trump protesters

Thousands took to the streets in Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon,
voicing anger at Trump's inflammatory and often deeply controversial campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and women.

Hundreds of protesters marched through the streets of Los Angeles, blocking traffic as they waved signs in opposition of Trump and chanted "We reject the president elect" and "Whose streets? Our Streets".

Earlier in the night, several thousand activists marched through downtown Miami, with a few hundred making their way onto a highway, halting traffic in both directions.

Trump, who initially denounced Americans who protested against his election, saying they had been "incited" by the media, reversed course and praised them on Friday.

"Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!" Trump said on Twitter.

(With AP and Reuters)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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