Writing a message for Memorial Day should be easy. All it involves is thanking those who laid their lives for the country and offering condolences to the families of the fallen. However, it seems, not for President Donald Trump.
A few hours ahead of his planned visit to Arlington National Cemetery, the president fired off a tweet that made it clear he was honoring himself rather than those who have made the supreme sacrifice for their country.
Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2018
Trump is masquerading this shameless praising of himself in a tweet about Memorial Day and the mention of the fallen soldiers only serves as a launching pad for Trump to tout of his perceived accomplishments during his 16 months of presidency.
The start of the tweet, “Happy Memorial Day,” is evidence itself the president was not thinking an iota about the fallen soldiers or their families. No one who understands how painful Memorial Day is for Americans would ever start a message in this way. But it’s clear Trump was only thinking about himself when he wrote his tweet, as he as always done so.
“Mr. President: My father was MIA in Vietnam for 30 years. I will visit him at Arlington today. There is nothing “happy” about #MemorialDay,” tweeted retired US Army Major General @PaulDEaton52. https://t.co/FwIjFGQENz— VoteVets (@votevets) May 28, 2018
Ah, the exclamation point after the happy! Because us Goldstars just love love love this day. And tooting your own horn (actually tooting the momentum of 44’s) on a day where those that gave the ultimate sacrifice never once thought of themselves.... Nice! pic.twitter.com/7y9oYKHfnA— Carrie Bland (@Carrie_Bland) May 28, 2018
Veteran support groups, veterans’ families and politicians all condemned Trump’s tweet as inappropriate and insensitive.
This is the most inappropriate #MemorialDay comment that a @POTUS has ever made. Self-promotion on a day to remember the fallen, and wishing those remembering their deceased loved ones a “happy” holiday is appalling. #CadetBoneSpurs pic.twitter.com/kRse4dnwiu— VoteVets (@votevets) May 28, 2018
“Cadet Bone Spurs” is the nickname given to Trump by Iraq war veteran Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill) after it became known Trump dodged his Vietnam War drafts multiple times.
President Trump should have mentioned his Vietnam Medal. pic.twitter.com/xnQhde0Fb6— Trial Lawyer Richard (@TrialLawyerRich) May 28, 2018
My god, I read that and now I'm tears. My son didn't die for his rhetoric, for his propaganda, his bigotry & racism. He'd be so sickened by this!— Bonita (@Juniper2082) May 28, 2018
And fyi trump, nothing "happy" about today. My son's body came home on Memorial Day 2007, am I suppose to celebrate that?
This is one of the most inappropriate, ignorant and tone-deaf things our Commander-in-Chief could have said on a day like today. https://t.co/YRthmkTZZo— John Kirby (@johnfkirby63) May 28, 2018
This day, of all days of the year, should not be about any one of us. No matter how prestigious or powerful, no matter how successful we perceive ourselves to be. Rather, this day should be about those who gave their lives so that we could live ours in freedom. #MemorialDay— GEN(R) Marty Dempsey (@Martin_Dempsey) May 28, 2018
Trump’s tweet stands in stark contrast to how other politicians honored United States soldiers.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted. “On #MemorialDay we honor the American heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our values and protecting our freedoms. We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never repay.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said, “Today we honor the Americans who sacrificed everything to secure the blessings of liberty. Family and friends to some, heroes to all - who lived, fought and died for the safety and future of a great and good nation. God bless them and grant them perpetual peace. #MemorialDay”
Here’s what former President Barack Obama stated in his message:
We can never truly repay the debt we owe our fallen heroes. But we can remember them, honor their sacrifice, and affirm in our own lives those enduring ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity for which generations of Americans have given that last full measure of devotion. pic.twitter.com/pRxwmaMClL— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 28, 2018
Even Trump’s own wife drummed up a beautiful message of thanks.
On #MemorialDay we honor the many Americans who laid down their lives for our great country. As one nation under God, we come together to remember that freedom isn’t free. Thank you to all the service members & their families who sacrifice so much to keep us safe. ???? pic.twitter.com/H6yhNQXyPg— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 28, 2018
Meanwhile, the president’s campaign site also tried to cash in on the national holiday by offering 25 percent discounts for customers who use the code, “Remember.”
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer