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Donald Trump supporters attend concert to celebrate inauguration

Thousands of Donald Trump supporters have gathered near one of Washington's famous landmarks for a concert celebrating his upcoming inauguration.

The event - dubbed the Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration - is taking place close to the Lincoln Memorial, where country star Lee Greenwood and rock band 3 Doors Down are among the headline acts.

US President-elect Mr Trump has reportedly struggled to attract famous names to take part in the concert, while Broadway star Jennifer Holliday pulled out of the gig citing concerns raised by fans from the LGBT community.

Friends Ron Coughlin and Karen Jones, from New Jersey, were among the supporters watching the concert on one of the big screens near the Lincoln Memorial.

Mr Coughlin said he hoped Mr Trump's inaugural speech would include many of the topics he discussed during his election campaign and branded protesters "ignorant".

"I hope he reiterates most of the things he said in the campaign. That's what people want to hear," he said.

"The protesters are ignorant. Trump has done more since the election than Obama achieved in eight years."

Asked why she wanted to attend, Ms Jones replied: "We want to see our president."

Robert Dreyfus was joined at the concert by his sons Steve, 25, and David, 22.

"We're from New York so we've seen a lot of the work (Trump) has done," he said.

"I hope he cuts back on capital gains tax.

"My insurance premiums have gone crazy. I'm optimistic."

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence laid wreaths at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Actor Jon Voight, who has been a vocal supporter of Mr Trump, addressed the crowd.

"We have all been witness to a very gruelling year and a half for the President-elect," he said.

"We have all been witness to a barrage of propaganda that left us all breathless with anticipation, not knowing if God could reverse all the negative lies against Mr Trump whose only desire was to make America great again."

Voight said Mr Trump "certainly didn't need this job" but "God answered all our prayers".

"We will be part of history, all of us," he said.

"President Lincoln, who sits here with us, I'm sure is smiling knowing America will be saved by an honest and good man who will work for all the people, no matter their creed or colour."

Voight introduced Grammy award-winning singer Sam Moore who performed America The Beautiful.

Supporters broke out into cheers of "Trump, Trump, Trump" as Mr Trump was introduced to the stage with his wife Melania.

Brothers Paul and Donald Brown from New York were wearing T-shirts displaying the phrases "Donald Trumps Hillary" and "The Witch Is Dead" as they watched the concert.

Paul, 58, said: "The response to the T-shirts has been positive.

"I think it will offend some but it echoes the sentiment of the American people.

"The American people were fed up with the political establishment and wanted it to change."

A piano version of One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful was played by musical group The Piano Guys during the concert.

Addressing the crowd, Mr Trump said he would "unify" America as president.

"We're going to make American great for all our people," he said.

"On the campaign I called it 'the forgotten man and the forgotten woman'. You're not forgotten any more.

"We're going to do things that haven't been done for our country for many, many decades. It's going to change.

"I'll see you tomorrow. I don't care frankly if it's going to be beautiful or if it's going to rain like crazy. It makes no difference to me.

"I have a feeling it's going to be beautiful."


From Belfast Telegraph