MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Beltrami County Commissioner Joe Vene sang the Star Spangled Banner to open President Donald Trump's rally in Minneapolis Thursday.

Vene was part of the event Thursday, which drew nearly 20,000 people to hear the president speak at the Target Center, as well as thousands of protesters outside the arena. A former member of the United States Army, Vene is a longtime local advocate for veterans services in the Bemidji area.