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President Trump and first lady to mark Memorial Day at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, White House says

WASHINGTON — Many Americans may be staying in this Memorial Day weekend, but President Donald Trump is hitting the road, set to visit Baltimore’s Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine.

The White House says the president and first lady will participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at the site Monday “to honor the American heroes who have sacrificed their lives serving in the US Armed Forces.” The hoisting of the American flag after the fort defended Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812 inspired the poem that came to be known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

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Trump has sought to increase his travel schedule as he looks to demonstrate that the nation is “reopening” after economically devastating shutdowns were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The virus has infected more than 1.5 million Americans and cost more than 92,000 U.S. lives.

The visit is set to come just over a week after Maryland began to lift some of its stay-at-home restrictions because of the coronavirus, though “safer-at-home” guidelines remain in place. Baltimore has yet to lift those restrictions, though.

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Lester Davis, spokesman for Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, told The Baltimore Sun that the mayor will not be attending the event and declined to comment further on Trump’s visit.

Trump famously insulted the city in July, when he called former U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings’ 7th District “disgusting, rat and rodent infested,” which prompted city and state leaders and others to come to the defense of both the late representative and Baltimore itself.

Trump visited the city in September when he attended a Republican retreat at the Marriott Waterfront’s Harbor East hotel, prompting protesters to line the streets while he largely spoke inside the hotel of his accomplishments as president.

The Trumps are to be joined Monday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper; Interior Secretary David Bernhardt; Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and military ceremonial units.

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A senior administration confirmed the visit and who was attending to The Sun. The White House did not reply to questions seeking more details.

Trump also was considering travel next week to Florida to view the launch of the first U.S. manned spaceflight since the retirement of the space shuttle, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday. Hosting Vice President Mike Pence in his state, DeSantis said, “You’re going to be there. I think the big guy is going to be there.”

Trump marked Memorial Day last year aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier in Japan, where he was on a state visit. He participated in ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in his first two years in office.

Baltimore Sun reporter Phil Davis contributed to this article.

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