President Donald Trump told the story behind “God Bless America” at the Israeli American Council National Summit this week in Hollywood, Florida.
“In every generation, Jewish American patriots have strengthened, sustained, uplifted, and inspired our nation,” Trump said. “In a moment, the Shalva Band will conclude this event with a song that we know very well. Before they do, I want to tell the famous story behind it,” the President noted.
Trump said a young Jewish American soldier was stationed at Camp Upton in New York when he wrote a prayer in the form of a song.
“His name was Irving Berlin — maybe the greatest of them all,” Trump said. “And he held that song close to his heart for more than 20 years. He did not release the song until 1938, as the world learned of Hitler’s evil atrocities against the Jewish people.
“On November 10th of that year, his song broadcast through the radio and into the homes all across the country. Millions and millions of people were inspired. It was the first time Americans heard Irving Berlin’s timeless hymn, “God Bless America.’”
Trump said the song became the “prayer of our nation.”
“It’s the prayer that Americans sang as we faced down communism and as we came together as one nation after 9/11. It’s the prayer that still unites us today and the hope that burns bright in our hearts because we are proud American patriots,” Trump said. “We love this magnificent nation with every ounce of our strength, spirit, and soul.”
Watch the performance here.
The Shalva Band originally began as part of a musical therapy class at Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities. The group went on to compete on the Israeli TV show “Rising Star.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Saul Martinez/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.