BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Despite pleas from Baltimore Mayor Jack Young to stay home, President Donald Trump was at Fort McHenry on Monday for a Memorial Day ceremony.

The president was on the ground for about an hour in Baltimore on Monday. He arrived by air on Marine One shortly before noon, flying right down Fort Avenue over hundreds of his supporters who could only get as far as the barricades outside the fort- which remains closed to the public.

Stay-at-home orders or not, the holiday brought hundreds to Locust Point, hoping for a glance.

“We’re not here in defiance. We’re here to actually be that voice of reasoning. We’re trying to maintain our six feet,” said Zulieka Baysmore, a Baltimore resident.

Among the hundreds of supporters, there was a smattering of protests, among some in the neighborhood.

“We really need to think about the 100,000 people who have lost their lives, and it’s counting. We’re not done yet,” said John Weinstein, another Baltimore resident.

During his speech, he referenced the ongoing crisis, thanking military members.

“Tens of thousands of service members and National Guardsmen are on the front lines in our war against this terrible virus, caring for patients, delivering critical supplies,” President Trump said.

PHOTOS: President Trump, First Lady Visit Fort McHenry In Baltimore For Memorial Day Ceremony

He also remembered Francis Scott Key, who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner inspired by the Battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry. The president also spoke of soldiers who died for America’s freedoms, including Army Captain Daniel Eggers who was killed in Afghanistan. He recognized Egger’s family members, who were in the audience.

“From the Battle of Baltimore to the Battle of the Bulge, Americans gave their lives to carry that flag,” President Trump said.

While there was no view of the ceremony from outside the gates, but there was an appreciation among some that the president chose to come.

“I really think it’s sad our mayor and governor won’t be here today to respect our fallen heroes,” said Mark McCullough, from Middle River.

The mayor had asked the president not to come, as the city is still under a stay-at-home order. Gov. Larry Hogan did not meet up with the President at Fort McHenry Monday as Memorial Day also marks the governor’s birthday, which he’s said he wanted to spend with his family.

“Even though they’re on opposite sides, a day like today, Memorial Dady, to be proud Americans,” McCullough said.

Protestors in a car caravan yelled “Stay home Donald Trump, we don’t want you here,” on Sunday, speaking out against the planned visit as they drove to Fort McHenry. They said Monday is their time to follow Mayor Jack Young’s order to stay home.


Mayor Young voiced last week he thought the president was “violating the law,” by coming while the city is under a stay-at-home order, and that he could be setting a better example by staying home.

“The City of Baltimore remains under a Stay at Home order that was put in place to help safeguard our residents from the dangers associated with COVID-19,” He said. “We have worked closely with our health professionals to educate the public about the benefits of social distancing and staying home, unless leaving for an essential reason, like visiting a doctor or picking up groceries.”

Just hours before the event was set to begin, Council President Brandon Scott called on the president to stay home and “set the right example,”

“Less than one year ago, you called the late Congressman Elijah Cummings a ‘brutal bully’ and said that Baltimore was ‘a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess,’” writes the Council President Scott. “As a proud son of our great city, I am stating in the strongest terms that you should cancel your trip, out of respect to Congressman Cummings and to all the people of Baltimore.”

He continues in a letter to the president that if he did choose to come, to bring supplies and funding to the city.

“Respectfully, I request that you not visit Baltimore. However, if you choose to do so, I ask that you consider bringing the following with you: 100,000 tests for COVID-19; $25 million to support Baltimore small businesses impacted by COVID-19; $150 million to help Baltimore close the projected fiscal gap resulting from this pandemic; and $30 million to jump start the build out of Baltimore’s municipal broadband network to close the digital divide.”

President Trump’s remarks lasted 14 minutes and he was on the ground in Baltimore for about an hour.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Paul Gessler

Comments (8)
  1. Leslie says:

    President Trump continues to support state rights yet ignores the mayor’s plea not to come to Baltimore because of the COVID19 epidemic. He ignores wearing a mask. Why should Baltimore have to supply additional police protection at a huge cost to the city when the president ignores their request not to visit and then exposes citizens to additional health risks?

  2. shame on trump says:

    I agree- he was not wanted here, he should have been arrested for breaking the laws-nobody wants that draft dodger and his worked in the USA illegally ho and look at his idiotic red hat supporters also breaking the law. SHAMEFUL DISRESPECT FOR AMERICA

    Thank God the lot of them will be gone in January!

  3. Bill Ames says:

    Mayor Jack Young and his socialist-Democrat cronies don’t care a rip about carona virus deaths. Rather, their agenda is fueled by their hatred for the President and American patriotism.

  4. 66 says:

    American patriots stayed home & they wear masks to protect others. Trump was not welcome and should not have been out w/o a mask in a state that requires them……….this after he played golf for 2 days while we are approaching 100,000 dead Americans.

    I care about people and I hate Trump

  5. Lilith Avner says:

    The President showed courage and strong leadership. It’s strange to try to blackmail him for showing respect for fallen heroes and very odd to be out protesting if you are afraid of contracting or spreading the virus.

  6. Steve & Carolyn Kirby says:

    When he dodged the draft, was that courage or respect? When he spent Sunday playing golf instead of going to church (that he claims is so important) was that leadership, respect for God? What so you call it when he knows he has been exposed and he and that woman refuse to wear masks? It is odd to be out not wearing a mask when you claim to be a leader who cares and you claim to be law abiding. Is it leadership to defy local laws to wear a mask and no groups larger then 10 people because you have a get out of jail free card?

    The good thing is the supply of stupid white people who support Trump is on the decline.

    The Trump protesters were in a caravan of cars, obeying the law. The mask-less people violating the law you are referring to were Trumpers. I know you folks are not too bright, but please try to get the facts straight.

    I find it hilarious he keeps coming back to a place he said was a rat infested dump where even the lowliest of politicians will not kiss his behind.

    I have been to may events to protest Trump, but unlike him I am law abiding & stayed at home. The good thing about Trump is we will be rid of him this fall.

    1. Frank says:

      You are a racist sheep. ” stupid white people” and “I am a law abiding and stayed at home”.

  7. Fred Griffin says:

    I disagree, looking at the news coverage, all the Trump supporters there were White people, so the statement is factual and not racist. It was no more “racist” than saying the majority of the NFL layers are Black as that’s a fact too. Not wearing a mask in a crowd, well that’s pretty stupid since health experts say it is safest. State law forbids groups of over 10 people so they were violating the law as well and most people think that’s a pretty dumb thing to do. All in all, stupid. Whether or not supporting Trump requires stupidity, well that’s up for debate and we shall see in November, but that is not the issue here.

    People who did not assemble in large groups were in fact obeying the law which prohibits that right now. If obeying laws makes me a sheep, so be it.

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