It’s said that the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day is that when you honor a vet on Veteran’s Day, they’re still around to hear you. Memorial Day is when we remember those veterans who gave their lives in service to our country.
This year, everyone is focused on President Obama, and where he’s spending his Memorial Day. He’s spending it in Chicago, with his family. While he will miss the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, he attended one at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois. Vice President Biden will be in attendance at Arlington.
“How could the President forget our veterans?” “It’s shameful that he’s missing that ceremony!” “It’s disrespectful!” “He’s the first president to skip it!”
I did not vote for President Obama. I’m not, at the moment, a big fan of anything he’s done. I disagree with several of his policies. I think there are huge problems with some of the things he’s doing or planning. I’m also a Army Cold War veteran. Given that, is the President’s choice of locations for a Memorial Day observance really all that important? And if it is, shouldn’t everyone get their facts straight before they criticize him?
For example, he is not the first president to miss an Arlington Memorial Day Ceremony. He’s not even the second, or third. Since Reagan, only one president has made all of his Arlington Memorial Day Ceremonies. That would be President…Clinton.
According to Snopes and Media Matters, President Reagan missed four of the eight he could have attended, although in fairness, one was only six weeks after he was shot. President George H. W. Bush-himself a veteran-missed all four ceremonies during his term. President George W. Bush missed the 2002 ceremony.
President Obama is attending a Memorial Day ceremony. The administration will be represented at Arlington. Honestly, I think no matter what he did today would be attacked by one side or the other. That’s not right, now that I read it. I think it would be more correct to say that no matter what President Obama, someone would find a way to criticize him, or a political opponent. And quite honestly, with all the other issues facing our country today, can’t we find something more important to deal with?
Today’s focus is supposed to be on the veterans. Let’s keep it there.