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President Obama’s Memorial Day Vacation

From The Heritage Foundation:

This weekend, President Obama will skip Memorial Day services at Arlington National Cemetery, and instead he will take his family to Chicago for rest and relaxation. The gesture has rankled many on the right and caused the left to swing into full ‘defend Obama’ mode. However, the fact remains that during a time of war, it is extraordinary that the Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces would choose not to be at Arlington on this solemn occasion.

First, it must be said that the president is not skipping out on his official duties entirely. At the start of the weekend, the president will travel to Louisiana to survey the response to oil spill; only his second trip to the region since the disaster over a month ago. And on Monday, the president will deliver remarks at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL. In between these duties he will spend a “casual weekend with friends” and then fly home in time to make a White House tribute to Paul McCartney on Wednesday evening.

So what’s the big deal? As leftist columnist David Corn writes: “[D]oes it matter if Obama throws some leaves on a tomb?” Well, apparently to liberals, it does not matter and to Corn, even wondering why the president would miss the occasion in itself dishonors lost soldiers. Seriously. Somehow, wanting the president to appropriately honor the troops who paid the ultimate price is chalked up as “political ammo.”

The truth is that no president has missed the Arlington ceremony on Memorial Day since 1992. That year, former President Bush attended a ceremony in Maine while campaigning for re-election. In 1992 our nation was not at war. President Bush was himself a decorated war hero in World War II, risking life and limb to complete bombing missions in the Pacific and losing crewmates in the battles. His commitment to honoring his brothers-in-arms was never in doubt. So comparing 1992 to 2010 is not exactly an apples to apples debate.

Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation.

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