Obama snubs vets: Skips Memorial Day at Arlington Cemetery

No time for vets: Obama vacations in Chicago (Reuters)

President Barack Obama would rather vacation in Chicago on this Memorial Day and insults veterans by skipping the traditional ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery.

Vice President Joe Biden will stand in for the President at the wreath-laying ceremony while Obama will put in an appearance at Illinois’s Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

The snub is not sitting well with some vets.

“I’m not happy,” World War II vet Nathan Abbe told WCBS-TV in New York. “I think it’s an insult to all veterans.”

Vietnam Vet Vince McGowan canceled his plans to go to Arlington after hearing Obama wouldn’t be there.

“Let the President know that if it wasn’t good enough for him to find the time to come and visit with us, then we’ll stay home and take care of ourselves, as we always have do,” McGowan said.

Obama is not the first President to snub veterans at Arlington on Memorial Day — just the latest.

Ronald Reagan missed two Memorial Days at Arlington. George H.W. Bush never went to Arlington during his one term in office and his son, George W. Bush, missed the event in 2002 but had an excuse — he was in Europe with then Secretary of State Colin Powell at ceremonies in Normandy to honor Americans who gave their lives on D-Day.

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35 Responses to "Obama snubs vets: Skips Memorial Day at Arlington Cemetery"

  1. Jim  May 31, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Is this all someone can “fuss” about???????????

  2. Blarfinghar  May 31, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Jim,

    This is a big deal during wartime. Even me, who supports him, finds this appalling. Yes, it is worth the fuss. If you cared a hoot about the importance of the armed forces towards the freedoms you enjoy, it would be more than a “fuss” to you too.

    We are in the midst of two wars and have lost scores of kids. And he can’t be bothered to interrupt his vacation and sends Biden as an emissary?

    No way. Even as a liberal, I have to call it as I see it. And I call b*shit on this, Mr. President.

    • Jim  May 31, 2010 at 9:57 am

      Well, know that several Presidents in the past “snubbed” the vets, I cannot recall any “fuss” about their absence at Arlington. Oh, don’t take me wrong, if I was in Obama’s shoes, I would certainly be showing my presence at Arlington.

    • pipedown  May 31, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      oh pipe down

      im no liberal and i could care less. most troops i know could care less about Obama. they serve the country, not one man

  3. prairie  May 31, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Reagan and Bush II both sent reps to Arlington to do the honors on Memorial Day. Where was the fuss then?

    • wtf  June 1, 2010 at 7:25 am

      Yes they did!!! they are also dooche bags for missing it. Just because republican presidents made mistakes doesnt give Obama the ok to keep making them! He said he was gonna be different than Bush. All i see is a president who wishes he were only as bad as Bush. Obama is worse than Bush in almost every way. Bush put us 1.3 trillion in the hole in 8 years. Obama put us an additional 13 trillion in the hole in a lil over a year in his term. Cause he tried to spend his way out!!!! What a loser we put in office! Atleast Bush did his job(he was bad at it, but he did his job as a leader). Obama is no leader and thats not just a let down to all americans but a huge let down to my fellow african-americans and fellow minoritys. He had a chance to go into office and lead us proudly and he failed us! I only wish we could have had a black president that truly cared and wanted to lead us into a brighter future. Instead we are stuck with someone who doesnt want to work.

  4. Carl Nemo  May 31, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    What should we expect from a son of the “Father of LIes”…?!

    “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand
    in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies” (John 8:44)

    President Obama is unequivocally a ‘synthesized’ president; ie., one bred, groomed and proffered to us for our times. He’s simply meant to be a holding president; ie., one between the long tenure of the flagship party of the corporatists, the Republicans, that now hold sway over this nation and seemingly our ultimate demise.

    Everyday we as a people and nation swirl deeper into the abyss, sucked down by the mighty maelstrom of corruption and perdition found in high places.

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Spag-hetti  May 31, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      Interestingly, you offer no facts or proof. Are you kin to Sarah Palin? Or Glenn Beck? This is definitely in their style. Generally, one introduces opinions with “I think,” “I feel,” or maybe “Apparently.” Do you think there is a president factory? Are you saying he is “for our times” because he is black?

  5. Bogofree  May 31, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    A fuss? Tell it to my son who is on a convoy in Iraq. Safe journey for the 144th. President should have been there.

  6. Jim  May 31, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    “A fuss? Tell it to my son who is on a convoy in Iraq. Safe journey for the 144th. President should have been there.”
    __________________________________________________________

    You saying that the President should be in Iraq with your son???—-Oh, you mean at Arlington. Well as I said, if I had been Obama, I guess that I would have attended the ceremony at Arlington, but just because Mr. Obama like other Presidents before him, elected to be elsewhere, then all the “patriotic voices” can start lining up on the “critical line”. And I guess by President being at Arlington today would make the men that are fighting for our freedom more safer.

    • Carl Nemo  May 31, 2010 at 3:54 pm

      “And I guess by President being at Arlington today would make the men that are fighting for our freedom more safer.” …extract from reply to Bogofree

      Seemingly Jim you miss the point that the President’s appearance at Arlington is important to feat the memory of those that have fallen on the field of battle for the past 234 years since the first shots fired at Lexington Green in 1776, not only to launch this great experiment in freedom and justice for all, but the maintenance thereof too.

      Most importantly, his presence is a mighty morale booster for the young men and women, many if not most who lack the interest or sophistication to understand the real reasons why their lives are being put in harms way in these faraway zones of engineered conflicts; ie., all for the benefit of evil, greedy men in the MIC and the “oil patch” enabled by Congress and the Executive Branch of similar stripes too.

      Nation-building, free elections, fighting terrorism, fighting the war on drugs are all a cleverly constructed feelgood canard for the unwashed masses, but just the same the engineers of such could at least motivate themselves to throw those that have fallen, or will do so a “bone” on Memorial Day…no? : |

      Carl Nemo **==

    • Bogofree  May 31, 2010 at 4:45 pm

      The fuss is directly related to your comment. It is a fuss to me and others and I don’t give a damn about deflecting it to what other presidents have done – do that if you wish to make the point of this president dropping the ball on this one. I know it is time off from his busy schedule and takes him away from his vacation time.

      Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a Cape Cod Cares event in Hyannis, MA. They had a wall of some locals who are at Arlington and will never leave. Obama, Clinton, Bush and whoever else you care to name drop can visit and leave. This is a day to honor those who served. He is – The Commander And Chief. Do the tune and then he can go to his Bar-B-Que.

    • griff  May 31, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      “You saying that the President should be in Iraq with your son???”

      Not a bad idea.

      Bush ran up the deficit, so I can too.
      Bush lied every time he opened his mouth, so I can too.
      Bush tortured, so I can too.
      Bush spied on every one, so I can too.
      Bush broke the law every single day, so I can too.
      Bush had his Katrina, so I can have one too.
      Bush got to start wars…

      …Stay tuned.

    • wtf  June 1, 2010 at 7:38 am

      He could have missed arlington and have gone to afganistan and showed some real leadership. He could have gone to germany, and gave a speech remembering our unknown fallen soldiers. He could have been is several places and showed leadership. However stopping off at a near-by cemetary on his way to a basketball game is an insult no matter how you look at it! He is a leader of our military and of all days to take a vacation and watch a game this im sorry was not the day. It just shows how little this country means to him. Our military is the best in the world because they have support from thier fellow brothers(troops), leaders and the people who they are fighting for…. where is Mr Obama at? oh wait hes at a basketball game… what a loser and the people that defend him are no better than he is.

  7. Pondering_It_All  May 31, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    How snobby can you get? Most ordinary soldiers can’t get into Arlington when they pass away. It is reserved these days for high ranks and the well-connected. I think the President should visit a different National Cemetary on each Memorial Day, so the families of ALL those who gave their lives serving our country can see that he honors their sacrifice. Not just the Generals and sons of the rich or politicians.

    • wtf  June 1, 2010 at 7:44 am

      i see where you are coming from… and you are right in a way. He doesnt have to go there to show respect for our fallen, he should have done much better and gone to germany or france to honer our unkown fallen that never made it home. We are a country with out a leader and the whole world knows it… thats the scary part!

  8. ra  May 31, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Arlington isn’t the only veterans’ cemetery in the country. President Obama didn’t ignore the day. He didn’t ignore veterans, either, and the Vice President attended the memorials at Arlington. IIRC, there have been numerous instances of presidents, including both Bushes, who didn’t attend ceremonies at Arlington, or anywhere else, on Memorial Day, and nary a peep was heard about it.

  9. Dan  May 31, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Being stuck in a thunderstorm at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery is not the same as “Skipping ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery to go on vacation”

  10. neondog  May 31, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    What matters is how the President treats the vets on Tuesday or last Friday.
    No man gets my respect JUST for showing up at a war memorial or for sticking the right bumber sticker on his car.

    This is just another whine from the Politics as Usual crowd. It’s all they know.
    Still trying to apply broke down 1970 solutions to 2009 problems.

  11. JerryG  May 31, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I guess Arlington is the only national cemetery for fallen Americans in the country, huh? The rest of them apparently aren’t worthy of a Presidential visit on Memorial Day.

    • Spag-hetti  May 31, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      Yay for you, JerryG. What’s the deal with the nitpickers?

    • wtf  June 1, 2010 at 8:16 am

      youre right jerry, your guy did so well enjoying that basketball game instead of i dunno doing his job! He doesnt have to go to arlignton he should have done better and gone to bastohne to where so many of our fallen soldiers gave thier final breath and were unable to come home. Its very obvious hes not intouch with our country and doesnt qualify to lead us just in his actions and yes actions speak louder than his lies. Its a shame that our citizens arent more intouch either. There are many who are but there are pleanty that need to earn thier freedom because giving it to them is shown to be unappreciative and some even disrespectful. I wish they would bring back the draft and make ppl go and earn it. I am not out of 1st drafting age and would proudly go if called upon. I appreciate what our fallen has given everything for. I will not argue with those who disrespect our fallen by thier inactions and selfish thoughts. I can only lead by example and say may god bless our troops. We love you, miss you and we thank you. You are our heros.

  12. woody188  May 31, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    The real snub is increasing illegal wiretaps, ordering summary executions, and ignoring the Constitution all these soldiers laid down their lives to protect. Might as well be spitting on their graves.

  13. dvl666  May 31, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Ditto. The President should visit a different cemetary each Memorial Day. As for the vets their day is in November. Today is for those who have died in a WAR not for those who came home. No matter what a Prez does there is instant crticism from those who a oppose him. Nic Pic Doug, why not the one of Pres. Obama at the Lincoln Cemetary?? Your choice makes it seem that he did nothing to honor those who died. If I wanted slant I’d subscribe to Faux News.

    • wtf  June 1, 2010 at 8:31 am

      its a shame you want to see it as nitpicking. I feel sorry for you. I also feel sorry for the republicans that are making the same mistake and not looking at the real picture. Obama has the resources to have gone anywhere and of all days and places to take a vacation. It just shows ignorence. He should have gone over seas for our unkown fallen soldiers. his back up should have been arlington but no he feels he can just stop off on the way to a basket ball game like hes on a working vacation. How sad is that?

  14. dvl666  May 31, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    So did a majority of Americans who treat today as the start of summer, by heading for their vacation homes,the golf course etc. How many of you, Doug included spent any time at a local cemetary?

    • Doug Thompson  June 1, 2010 at 5:01 am

      I went to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA, to remember those who died then visited the cemeteries of three childhood friends who died in Vietnam and laid wreathes at their graves.

      What cemeteries did you visit?

    • sherry  June 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

      I visited the local cemetary, where loved ones were buried and veterans from my home town are buried. I honored them.
      And of course we had the family gathering. It’s what we do.

  15. Staff Sergeant Odom  May 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Cry me a river about nothing Doug, you’re just a hatemonger. I served during Vietnam and the U.S. didn’t belong there either. If our government didn’t send our troops into countries where they don’t belong, there’d be a hell of lot fewer dead bodies. However, I celebrate Memorial Day for those that survived; mourning the dead is a selfish act that shows them little respect unless you’ve walked the aisles of a military cemetery like I did here http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/ne.php in 1999. I knew no one buried there but I cried just the same.

  16. elfish  June 1, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Reagan did it four times, Bush-I did multiple times – most of president at one time or another because of other pressing issues, or in the case of Bush-I, because he was vacationing in Maine at the family “Compound.”

    To conservatives, these patriot symbolism only matter if the president is a Democrat, otherwise, a republican gets a free pass.

  17. Patick  June 1, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I will agree that President Obama is a smart, brilliant, and articulate man. As good as he sounds, he lacks leadership. Unless there is a national crisis that would prevent him from doing so, the Commander-in-Chief needs to be there. If he wants my respect, he needs to show leadership.

  18. Bill  June 1, 2010 at 1:43 am

    So, if there are veterans in the Abraham Lincoln Cemetary they are not deserving of a presidential visit. From what I learned having lived in the MD-DC-NoVA area for over 14 years, we are not honoring our fallen soldiers by interring them in Arlington. Doing so is like saying that all of the members of Congress are honorable men.

    • wtf  June 3, 2010 at 6:58 pm

      are you seriously thinking that the real issue is that the vets in lincoln cemetary dont deserve a presidential visit? You couldnt have over shot the runway any further! All of our vets are heros no matter where they are burried. Since the president is only one man and there are so many fallen heros burried everywhere it seems logical to have a traditional place to honor all of are vets. What makes people angry is that obama couldnt make it to arlington(traditional place) and the untimely vacation that just happens to be the same place hes visiting the cemetary seems like he feels like he has to do it and not something he should be proud of and looking forward to doing. He should have done arlington and lincoln since lincoln was on the way to his game anyways. It would have showed the right that they are wrong about him. however yet again he gives the right more ammo with his carless so called leadership. I dont want him to fail because he works for the people, and we are the people. The last thing this country needs is another failure.

  19. NP  June 1, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I got up early to vote for Obummer. I won’t make that mistake again. His decision to stay in Chicago is a rude and disrespectful gesture to everyone who has (or currently) serves in the Armed Forces.

    Total A-HOLE move and clearly shows where his head and heart are when it comes to being patriotic. Shame on the President!!!

  20. Mightymo  June 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    This discussion is absolutely childish and completely without merit. Fact is that there are Federal Cemeteries with military veterans buried in them throughout the Nation. All those Veterans, no matter where they rest are deserving of a Presidential visit.
    To say that any President who does not chose to go to Arlington Cemetery, but chooses instead to go to another to show his respect is in fact disrespectful is absolute nonsense! To me, that attitude says that the person who believes it respects the sacrifices of Veterans less if the vet is not buried at Arlington, which of course is also nonsense.
    In the end, I applaud Obama for providing family and friends of Veterans who are buried outside of Arlington, an opportunity to have their loved ones recognized with a Presidential visit.

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