He went on tell that story — from our struggle for independence, the fight to abolish slavery and secure women’s suffrage and civil rights. He called out the many great Americans who “defined our national character” from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Jackie Robinson. He celebrated our inventors and explorers — from Lewis and Clark to Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart and the Apollo 11 astronauts. And he vowed “we will plant the American flag on Mars” because “for Americans, nothing is impossible.”

He also called out modern-day heroes in the audience — such as Emil Freireich, a doctor who revolutionized the treatment of childhood leukemia, and Clarence Henderson, who helped lead the sit-in at a Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C. in 1960. And Trump celebrated each individual branch of the U.S. armed forces, telling stories of their heroism interspersed with dramatic flyovers by each service’s aircraft. It was a stunning combined display of presidential eloquence and American military might.

Millions of ordinary Americans who tuned in to watch must have been wondering what the fuss was all about.