Opinion: Making Memorial Day Great Again

For the last eight years, Americans celebrated Memorial Day weekend largely on their own, with no earnest or overt support by President Obama.

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President Trump’s Memorial Day Proclamation says in part “Memorial Day is our Nation's solemn reminder that freedom is never free.
President Trump’s Memorial Day Proclamation says in part “Memorial Day is our Nation's solemn reminder that freedom is never free. "

For the last eight years, Americans celebrated Memorial Day weekend largely on their own, with no earnest or overt support by President Obama of the holiday in which we solemnly remember those men and women who gave their lives in defense of our country. To be sure, Obama went through the motions required of him by virtue of his high office, of him being the Commander in Chief.

We have to be candid though: his heart wasn’t in it. His presidency was defined by his essential animosity toward America as founded. Far from putting divisive racial issues behind us by electing–twice–an African American, Obama as president consciously sought to heighten them and in this it must be said he was successful. It is one of the most disgraceful aspects of his failed time in office.

He started off his historic presidency by launching an apology tour, traveling the world asking forgiveness of other countries for the perceived sins and omissions of America. It was particularly galling to see him bow before a Saudi dictator but bow he did. Elsewhere he reiterated America’s transgressions, omitting entirely why the nations to whom he spoke were in a position to dispense any ersatz forgiveness.

For example, in Strasbourg, France he said “there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Apologizing to the French for arrogance? Not for the first time President Obama had things backward. Addressing the Turkish Parliament, he said “the United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history.” Nothing but darkness has descended upon Turkey since then, a source of despair for Muslims attempting to operate secularly in the modern world.

He told the Summit of the Americas “While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.” This general posture continued throughout his two terms. Part of his apology tour was actually given on American soil.

Americans became understandably tired of this lecturing from the person we most expect to be proud of the country, not embarrassed or slightly ashamed. Last November the electorate pushed its own “reset” button and elected Donald Trump as president in an election result that caught virtually all of the American elites off guard. Media remain enraged to this day.

On Memorial Day it is especially gratifying to have a commander in chief who truly values and honors the fallen. Trump has unquestionable loyalty to the troops, whether fallen, in active service or retired. His initial foreign policy actions suggest that he understands “weakness is provocative,” to use Donald Rumsfeld’s aphorism.

President Trump’s Memorial Day Proclamation says in part “Memorial Day is our Nation’s solemn reminder that freedom is never free.  It is a moment of collective reflection on the noble sacrifices of those who gave the last measure of devotion in service of our ideals and in the defense of our Nation.  On this ceremonious day, we remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights.”

On Monday, the day on which we actually commemorate Memorial Day, President Trump will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on the grounds of the Arlington National Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. This ceremony is what is known as an Armed Forces Full Honors tribute, followed by an observance program hosted by the Department of Defense in the Memorial Amphitheater.

Democrats, by contrast, used their weekly message before Memorial Day to warn that veterans would suffer under the proposed budget of the President. Because of course. That Democrats think this is either an appropriate or persuasive message for this weekend is yet another indicator among many that they have lost their way, unable to understand how they lost a “sure thing” election or how to regroup in the Age of Trump.

Most Americans celebrate the sacrifice of those who have died to keep us free by engaging in utterly normal forms of relaxation: spending time with family, attending parades, cooking outdoors or, in Minnesota, dashing to their lake cabins to enjoy themselves in bucolic settings.

This is as it should be. The brave men and women who died and who we remember with quiet reverence would not want it any other way. We’re safe at home and they are safe in our hearts.


In addition to Alpha News, John Gilmore is also a contributor to The Hill. He is the founder and executive director of Minnesota Media Monitor. He blogs at MinnesotaConservatives.com and is on Twitter under @Shabbosgoy

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