Photo shows Trump during Zaharias medal ceremony


Beaumont City Councilman W.L. Pate Jr. was one of the relatively few people outside the Trump administration to see the president following this week’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Pate was in Washington, D.C., for a previously scheduled event in which golf legend Babe Didrikson Zaharias was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Southeast Texas native died of cancer in 1956. She was 45 years old.

“We had numerous board members in attendance. It was a great event for Babe, Babe’s legacy, for our community, and it once again gave us an opportunity to tell people why Babe Zaharias is world’s greatest woman athlete,” Pate said. “When you have the president of the United States say it, it echoes much louder than when you and I say it.”

Pate on Friday emailed photos of the closed-door event to The Enterprise. One shows the councilman at a lectern. To his right are President Donald Trump and the golfers Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam, who also received a Medal of Freedom for their “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” according to a White House news release.

Pate said about 100 people attended the East Wing ceremony.

Related: Photos: What’s inside the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum?

Pate, who is also president of the Babe Zaharias Foundation, accepted the Medal of Honor on Zaharias’ behalf.

Trump has not made public appearances since Wednesday’s Capitol siege, in which a tioting mob broke into the building carrying Trump flags and other pro-Trump paraphernalia. Five people, including a police officer, were killed and the House and Senate chambers were evacuated.

On Friday, as more administration officials resigned and calls for Trump’s resignation or removal grew, several riot-related arrests were announced and the House appeared headed toward a potential second impeachment effort.

Pate declined to speak on the record about the Capitol siege or his other observations.

He spoke approvingly of Trump, however, recalling that the president seemed very familiar with Zaharias’ accomplishments as an Olympian, professional golfer and admired multi-sport athlete. He said he received the medal in a box, and the award will be put on display at a later date inside the Beaumont museum dedicated to her life and achievements.

Player and Sorenstam were likewise gracious, Pate said, making him feel “like I belonged.”


Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button