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Trump visits grave of DHS secretary's son at Arlington, consoles grieving mothers

Last Updated May 29, 2017 5:36 PM EDT

After a speech and wreath-laying ceremony, President Trump concluded his Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery by comforting two mothers of fallen soldiers and stopping by the grave of the son of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Robert, in Section 60. 

Section 60, a roughly 14-acre burial site for fallen service-members of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was filled with visitors, family members and press after the president's speech.

Accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Mr. Trump paid his respects at Robert Kelly's grave, following up a tribute in his speech to Kelly's son, who died serving as a second lieutenant in Afghanistan in 2010. 

Before Mr. Trump left Section 60, he also took a moment to speak with two grieving mothers who had lost their sons in battle and asking for some acknowledgment. 

"Mr. Trump, Mr. Trump, my son was killed in Afghanistan in 2011, and nobody made any effort to acknowledge," said Alison Malachowksi, the mother of Staff Sgt. Jimmy Malachowski, who is buried in Section 60. 

The president stopped, listened and responded. "I did," he told her, accepting the yellow rose she offered. 

"It means a lot to me, it really does, that you take that," she said. "My son loved this country very, very much....Jimmy knew he wasn't coming home, and he said, 'Mama, I hope that people don't forget that I ever lived.' And if you could remember just Jimmy, that would mean so much to me."

"I will remember, I will remember," the president responded, pointing to the flower she handed him. 

As Mr. Trump and Vice President Pence took turns sharing hugs, handshakes and words of hope with family members, the surrounding crowd stood by and took pictures of the president. 

The on-camera interactions documented some of the emotionally charged exchanges with Americans in Mr. Trump's first six months as president. 

A second mother, whose son, a Navy Seal, was killed in 2008 serving, told Mr. Trump of her son's heroism, the efforts he made to save members of his team during a night mission that cost him his life. 

The president responded in short sentences and in hopeful tones. But he mostly stayed silent and listened. 

This is not the first time a sitting president has visited Section 60 at the  Arlington cemetery. CBS News' Mark Knoeller confirms that President Obama visited the site multiple times during his presidency.