On Friday President Trump gave the commencement address at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. About one third of the way through his speech he attempted to affirm and motivate the graduates by reminding them of America’s past military conquests when he said,
“Together, you are the tip of the spear, the edge of the blade, and the front of the shield defending and protecting our great country. You know, there is no mission our pilots can’t handle. There is no hill our Marines can’t take, and there is no stronghold the SEALs can’t reach. There is no sea the Navy can’t brave, and there is no storm the American sailor can’t conquer. Because you know that together, there is nothing Americans can’t do. Absolutely nothing. In recent years and even decades, too many people have forgotten that truth. They have forgotten that our ancestors trounced an empire, tamed a continent, and triumphed over the worst evils in history.”
Tamed a continent?
On May 28, 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal act. This was the Act of Congress that gave the military the right to remove native tribes from their lands in the east to more empty lands further in the west. This resulted in the Trail of Tears for the Cherokee, the Choctaw and the Chickasaw. It also resulted in the Long Walk for the Navajo and Apache. All told about a dozen tribes experienced forced relocation due to this act, and tens of thousands of native people died as a direct result of this act.