Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., spoke on the third night of the Republican National Convention on August 26, 2020.
Transcript as prepared for delivery
I’m Congressman Lee Zeldin, coming to you tonight from the VFW hall in Westhampton Beach, New York.
Tonight we’re celebrating America as a Land of Heroes. I’ve seen my fair share — from the heroes policing the streets of Suffolk County, to those patrolling war-torn provinces of Iraq.
This is personal.
I grew up in a law enforcement household and, today, I serve as a Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserve. On active duty, I deployed to Iraq as an 82nd Airborne paratrooper.
My generation of post-9/11 service members has huge shoes to fill following in the footsteps of veterans like those of our nation’s greatest generation who once put humanity on their shoulders and saved the world.
It’s been said, our nation at times asks ordinary men to do extraordinary things.
Americans always rise to the challenge.
All over our country there are everyday heroes who serve and sacrifice for the greater good.
Farmers, truckers, craftsmen — the heroes who keep our country running. The ones who our President, Donald Trump, fights for with his policies and actions.
This year, we’ve especially relied on one particular group of everyday heroes. Our frontline medical workers.
My twin daughters, Mikayla and Arianna, were born over fourteen weeks early. They weighed just a pound and a half. At 2 weeks old, Mikayla went into septic shock, had a stroke and underwent brain surgery leaving a third of the left side of her brain as a hole. Her doctors didn’t believe Mikayla would survive, fearing dire, permanent consequences even if she did.
Through the miracles of modern medicine, the power of prayer, and her will to live, my daughters are now starting high school and doing great, with no long term consequences from those first few months in the NICU.
Needless to say, doctors and nurses hold a special place in my heart. They saved my baby girls.
So when my hometown Suffolk County Executive told me late one Saturday night in April that the county’s stockpile of PPE was depleted because of COVID-19, I immediately thought of our doctors and nurses.
Jared Kushner was on the phone with me right away and late into that night, wanting to help however possible.
The very next day, President Trump announced he was immediately sending 200,000 n-95 masks to Suffolk. It actually ended up being almost 400,000.
That number quickly grew to a staggering 1.2 million items of PPE in just one month, including masks, gowns, and more.
The president sent thousands of ventilators to New York. He deployed the USS Comfort and converted the Javits Center to ensure our hospitals would never be overwhelmed.
The administration delivered public, private, and semi-automated lab testing approvals at blinding speed.
The president’s phenomenal effort delivered for our frontline workers. In the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic — an unforeseeable crisis sent to us from a faraway land — the President delivered for our everyday heroes.
We weren’t Republicans or Democrats. We were Americans first, working together to get through this as one nation, with the Trump administration eager to do everything in its power to assist us however possible.
For our nation to be even stronger, more prosperous, safer, freer and more secure than ever before, to make our country greater than ever, we must re-elect President Trump.
We are the land of the free, because of the brave, and we are the land of opportunity right now, because we have a president who wants to empower the best of who we are, to be the best of what we can be.
There’s never been a nation greater than ours, never a people more resilient than ours, and never a future for America more promising than ours, right now. Let’s do our part and Keep America Great.