When President Donald Trump called upon Carryn Owens during his joint address on Tuesday night, the room of politicians, dignitaries and invited guests burst into applause.
Owens was there to represent her fallen husband, Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, who died in battle shortly after Trump took office. With tears in her eyes, Owens looked up to the heavens and tried to muster whatever strength she could as she soaked in the cheers.
At the podium, President Trump praised Owens and her late husband.
“Ryan died as he lived: a warrior and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation,” Trump said.
He eventually went a little off script when he pointed out the amount of cheers Owens received. “Ryan is looking down right now, and you know that, and he is very happy, because I think he just broke a record,” he said.
Trump received a great deal of praise after the speech, in part because of the emotional moment with Owens. Many felt it was a sterling moment in his presidency.
“For those lamenting Carryn Owens’ ‘exploitation,’ let me offer some thoughts,” writer Mary Katherine Ham wrote on Twitter after the speech. “I’m not asking you to like Trump or credit him for that moment. “But what you can & should do is credit her. Maybe a SEAL wife who’s been through, God willing, worst life will give her, can handle Trump.”
According to CNN, Owens received more than two minutes of applause, the longest amount focused on one topic during Tuesday’s address.
— CNN (@CNN) March 1, 2017
Despite the praise received for the moment, others continued to feel that Trump exploited Mrs. Owens.
“@POTUS shamelessly exploited Carryn Owens, widow of William ‘Ryan’ Owens killed in Yemen raid. He said ‘the generals… lost Ryan,'” Twitter user dannemil wrote.
Others took an image of Owens from the address and chose to turn it into a representation of strength.
“@CarrynOwens..May the Lord Bless You and Keep you; make His face to shine upon you, and give you Peace…Amen,” an anonymous Twitter user commented.