The President’s Decision to Avoid Arlington on Memorial Day

Even if he participates in some event in Chicago’s local National Cemetery, does it say anything that President Obama is skipping out on Arlington on Memorial Day? Since 1992, with the exception of President Bush honoring veterans one year in Normandy on this date, all presidents have visited Arlington on Memorial Day.

Does this say anything about his relationship with the military? Some have pointed out that every call he makes to youth for national service has omitted military service. I served the entirety of my active duty time under President Clinton, who was nothing short of honest about avoiding Vietnam, and ultimately, I think he worked hard to demonstrate his support for the troops to make up for that. I definitely don’t believe President Clinton would have skipped Arlington if he were currently presiding over two wars where troops are dying on a weekly basis.


  • joe bernstein

    Yes,Clinton dodged the draft,but did make the trip to Arlington every year.

    He also appointed the late Jesse Brown,God Bless His Soul as VA Secretary,who took care of us who were sickened by Agent Orange,before he himself died of it.

    I just want to remember my non-Jewish buddy in Vietnem,Barry Murtaugh,of Ridley Park,PA,who was killed on what should have been his lat day in country.We lost six other airmen that day.

  • I don’t think it really says anything about his relationship with the military. If he didn’t do *anything* that would be different. I think those that say this is somehow evidence that he doesn’t like the military a bit ridiculous.

    With that said, it would have been nice to continue the tradition of Arlington. If you read the full article, there are plenty other Presidents (including several republicans) that skipped Arlington too. I would chalenge anyone to call any of them anti-military or unpatriotic as well.

  • David Penzel

    World War II veteran George H. W. Bush never laid a wreath at Arlington, leaving that task to Dan Quayle, that staunch defender of Indiana’s golf courses. In his eight years in office, Ronald Reagan, technically a veteran, went to Arlington only four times. President Obama is one for two, having gone to Arlington last year, so he is on a par with old Ronnie Reagan.

    I fail to see the wrong in the President going to the Lincoln National Cemetery. It’s not like going to Kennebunkport or Camp David, as some of his predecessors did.