I know a lot of American citizens were disturbed by President Obama’s absence on Memorial Day from the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington Cemetery. I’ve been there on a number of occasions, and it is meaningful to observe the changing of the guard.
While I understand the dismay expressed by many, there are two reasons why I didn’t share it fully. First, Obama was going to another cemetery in Illinois, so he was marking the occasion; second, and perhaps more cynically, I felt it might be better if he weren’t there. In my opinion, he has little respect for America or the military, so I thought the ceremony might be better without him. I realize the symbolic importance of the president at least showing outward respect, but what’s in the heart is far more important—and the heart is revealed through actions.
However, when Sunday, June 6, passed, and the White House didn’t even acknowledge the significance of that day, I must admit that was an inexcusable omission. Ronald Reagan, for instance, never let the D-Day anniversary pass without highlighting it. His 1984 speeches in Normandy were a key event in his administration as they put the spotlight on the sacrifices of the men who began on that day to take Europe back from Hitler.
Personally, I look upon this snub by the White House as the height of disrespect for those who died to set other people free and to ensure the United States would never succumb to the Nazi evil.
Some commentators have taken the step of referring to Obama as the first post-American president. Sad to say, I believe there is evidence for that.