A confluence of external forces pulled attention away from the Republican National Convention on night three. Still, Republicans remained trained on delivering their counter-message to Democrats — focusing heavily on freedom, the military, law enforcement and the need for “law and order.”

The theme of the third night of the RNC, “America: Land of Heroes,” was realized throughout a night marked by salutes to U.S. military members and veterans, which culminated with Vice President Mike Pence at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, accepting the vice-presidential nomination for the second time.

While the speakers heaped praise on the president throughout the night, unlike the first two nights, Trump himself didn’t make an appearance in the programming until it was over, joining Pence on stage with the first and second ladies, as well as Medal of Honor recipients, veterans and front line workers for a rendition of the national anthem by country singer Trace Adkins.

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