Hey,, a true “Patriot” and a “World Leader” Can’t find his way, his office is round and keeps walking in circles!

President’s Memorial Day Plans Irk Some Veterans

By Anne E. Kornblut and Ed O’Keefe

President Obama is skipping the traditional Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, a move that has dismayed some veterans — and comes at a sensitive moment in the administration’s relationship with the military.

Instead of speaking at Arlington, as he did last year and as most presidents have done, Obama will appear at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery outside Chicago, the White House said. Vice President Biden will take his place at Arlington, the most prestigious military cemetery in the country and home to Section 60, a large burial ground for soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and executive director of the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, expressed disappointment at the White House move. “Arlington is hallowed ground, and the center of our nation’s attention on Memorial Day,” Rieckhoff said. “Unfortunately, President Obama and his family will not be there with us.”

Critics — mainly conservatives — have argued that attendance is more important with two wars ongoing. “Obama may talk about the government in the first person, but the men and women lying at Arlington know differently,” commentator Eric Erickson wrote on the conservative site Redstate.com. “Of course, Obama really doesn’t like the military, does he.” Fox News blared the headlines: “Trampling on Tradition?” and “Offensive to Soldiers?”

But other veterans say they’re not disturbed by Obama’s decision. “We don’t really see the big deal, so long as he’s taking the time to honor our fallen war heroes throughout Memorial Day weekend,” said Ryan Gallucci, spokesman for AMVETS. ” . . . Arlington is certainly not the only place our fallen heroes are buried, so why not pay your respects to veterans around the country?”

Steve Muro, the Department of Veterans Affairs acting undersecretary responsible for 131 national cemeteries, said Obama’s decision to visit a cemetery named for Lincoln is appropriate, since the 16th president established the country’s first 14 national cemeteries.

“I think the president is trying to show that there is more than one national cemetery,” Muro said.

Obama is not the first president to miss the Arlington ceremony. Ronald Reagan spoke at West Point one year, and went to his California ranch another year. George H.W. Bush, a war veteran, did not go at all. Bill Clinton, who did not serve in Vietnam and had a rocky time with the military, went to Arlington all eight years, and George W. Bush, who also avoided combat service in Vietnam, attended from 2003 onward.

Obama, who opposed the Iraq invasion and has overseen a drawdown there but is adding 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, has had a mixed relationship with the military.

His current support for ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not universally supported by the rank and file, but comes with backing from some top brass.

His most senior firing to date was retired Adm. Dennis C. Blair, who was pushed out as director of national intelligence last week, one of a handful of military members who have struggled in the highest ranks.

5 Responses to Hey,, a true “Patriot” and a “World Leader” Can’t find his way, his office is round and keeps walking in circles!

  1. hoboduke says:

    It seems our President wants a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on his Memorial day plans for golf. Will the world end by his blowing off a memorial moment? Thank God, no. He did pose with a Presidential salute photo on the returning fallen at the airforce hangar. But if you need and want the enthusiastic support of the military in more battle zones since the Korean War, then it is a “don’t bother me I’m having fun” attitude. My son in Iraq would have liked to exchange his 7 day 12 hour plus duty for some fun. Military don’t get any fun breaks like that. So a visit to a graveyard is too much of a strain on our President? This President is too much of a strain on this country, but 2012 is coming.

  2. bacsi says:

    Why anyone would complain about BO _not_ polluting ground sacred to our fighting men by his mere presence, is some what beyond me. It’s bad enough that puke Biden shows up.

  3. bill says:

    Please download “Obama Guilty Press Conference html” for distribution :

  4. tuxkabin says:

    Arlington National Cemetery is built on the home and land of General Robert E. Lee. Union solders were buried throughout the yard up to the house so they could never return. This was another way for the North to insult the South. The North stole this land from Lee. In June 1864, it was designated as a military cemetery and even though Confederate solders were also buried there, their families were denied access to the gravesties and even at times, addmittance to the cemetery. So yes, it is very special land to us Southerners.

  5. tuxkabin says:

    Yes, Arlington National Cemetery is sacred ground to all soldiers.

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