The widow of Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens, the Navy SEAL killed in Yemen, was seated next to President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, during Trump’s speech to Congress.
Carryn Owens was joined by her parents, according to the White House. The family was not listed as official guests of the first family because they wanted the focus to be on Owens, according to the White House.
Owens’ parents were not present. His father had declined to meet Trump when his son’s body arrived at Dover Air Force base.
Trump spoke of Owens near the end of his speech.
“Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero – battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” he said.
Carryn stood up and cried. “I love you baby,” she mouthed while looking up.
“Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity,” Trump said to sustained applause. “For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom –- we will never forget him.”
The ovation lasted several minutes, prompting the president to make a rare departure from his prepared speech. “Ryan is looking down right now and I think he’s very happy because he just broke a record,” Trump said.
After the speech, Trump spoke to Carryn Owens in a corridor before departing the Capitol. She smiled broadly.
Lesley Clark contributed.