Lawmakers from both parties sang “Happy Birthday” to Judah Samet, a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh who survived a shooting that killed 11 people in October.
President Donald Trump saluted Samet during the State of the Union address. Samet, who also is a Holocaust survivor, celebrated his 81st birthday on Tuesday.
Trump said Samet can still remember the moment nearly 75 years ago when he was put on a train after 10 months in a concentration camp. Suddenly the train screeched to a halt. A soldier appeared. Samet’s family braced for the worst, but then his father cried out with joy, “It’s the Americans.”
Lawmakers jumped to their feet and applauded as Trump told the story, and they spontaneously sang “Happy Birthday” as Samet smiled and waved. Trump told Samet lawmakers “wouldn’t do that for me.”
Podcast special: On Wednesday morning, Feb. 6, join the PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz, Lisa Desjardins, Yamiche Alcindor and Daniel Bush as they share their thoughts on President Donald Trump’s 2019 State Of The Union address. They’ll dig into what really mattered in the speech and the Democratic response; which statements have traction and which are just rhetoric. As always, you can expect smart analysis, useful insights and the kind of conversation you won’t get anywhere else. Find the special episode in our existing podcast feeds, on our website or wherever you subscribe to podcasts.