By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of World War Two on Wednesday with a visit to a retired battleship in North Carolina, a political battleground state he hopes to win in the Nov. 3 U.S. election.
Trump will travel to Wilmington, which he will declare the country's first World War Two Heritage City.
He will meet with veterans and tour the battleship North Carolina, which took part in the major naval offensives in the Pacific. The ship was decommissioned in 1947 and now serves as a war memorial.
The coronavirus pandemic has largely curtailed events to celebrate the anniversary of the war's end.
The White House denied the North Carolina trip was political in nature. Battleground states are hotly contested because their population can swing either to Republicans or Democrats and play a decisive role in presidential elections.
Trump, 74, has a slight edge in North Carolina over Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, 77, according to an average of polls by RealClearPolitics. Trump, a Republican, trails Biden, the former vice president, in national polls.
Trump traveled to North Carolina last week for part of the Republican National Convention.
The president has touted his record supporting veterans while in office. Veterans and older Americans are important voting blocs for both political parties.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Howard Goller)