First Lady Melania Trump took center stage on Tuesday evening. Dressed in a military-inspired Alexander McQueen jacket, the ever-stylish first lady delivered her highly anticipated Republican National Convention speech from the newly restored White House Rose Garden, which she had unveiled days prior. President Donald Trump’s wife began her remarks offering sympathy and prayers to those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and thanking frontline workers and teachers for their work during this difficult time. “My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone who has lost a loved one and my prayers are with those who are ill or suffering,” she said. “I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you are not alone.”
Melania, 50, went on to acknowledge the recent 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and the impact of women’s voices in our nation’s history. “We must make sure that women are heard and that the American dream continues to thrive,” she said, before reflecting on how she achieved her American dream. “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,” Melania recalled. “My parents worked very hard to ensure our family could not only live and prosper in America, but also contribute to a nation that allows for people to arrive with a dream and make it reality.”
The first lady took a moment to thank her mother and father—Amalija and Viktor Knavs—for all they have done for their family. She told them, “It is because of you that I am standing here today.” Melania arrived in the United States when she was 26-years-old. While residing in America was a dream come true for Melania, she wanted to become a citizen. “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,” she shared. “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.”
The Be Best founder noted that as “an immigrant and a very independent woman,” she understands “what a privilege it is to live here and to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities” that America has to offer. Melania added, “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.”
In her over 20-minute speech, Melania also addressed the “racial unrest” in the country and called for unity. “It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning from our past. We must remember that today we are all one community comprised of many races, religions and ethnicities. Our diverse and storied history is what makes our country strong, and yet we still have so much to learn from one another,” she said.
The first lady continued, “With that in mind, I’d like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives.” Melania encouraged people to “come together in a civil manner.” “I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice, and never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin. Instead of tearing things down, let’s reflect on our mistakes. Be proud of our evolution and look to our way forward. Every day let us remember that we are one nation under God, and we need to cherish one another,” she said.
Melania, who is a mother to 14-year-old Barron Trump, sent a special message to mothers during her remarks. “This modern world is moving so fast, and our children face challenges that seem to change every few months. Just like me, I know many of you watch how mean and manipulative social media can be. And just like me, I’m sure many of you are looking for answers, how to talk to your children about the downside of technology and their relationships with their peers,” she said. “Like every parent in this country, I feel there is so many lessons to teach our son and the responsibilities as his mother but there are just not enough hours in the day to do it all. I remind myself that I am more fortunate than most and still have days that I look for wisdom and strength to do the very best I can for him. I am more fortunate than most and still have days that I look for wisdom and strength to do the very best I can for him.”
Melania praised fellow parents as “warriors” telling them, “In my husband, you have a president who will not stop fighting for you and your families. I see how hard he works day and night.” The first lady also gave insight into her marriage revealing, “Donald is a husband who supports me in all that I do.” Following her speech, the president embraced his wife with two kisses on the cheek. The mom of one looked characteristically chic for her appearance on Aug. 25 wearing a military jacket from one of Kate Middleton’s go-to designers Alexander McQueen, which originally retailed for $2,450. Melania teamed the piece with a matching skirt and Christian Louboutin pumps.