UnNews:Obama to honor war dead
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31 May 2010
The ceremony will take place at Dred Scott Cemetery in Elwood, a tough neighborhood south of Chicago. White House sources say the President will refrain from mentioning the slavery era, the Tuskegee experiments, the dropping of the A-Bomb on Japan, and waste of the world's natural resources that could be prevented by quickly passing his next package of energy taxes, and will instead focus on the valor of America's fallen servicemen.
There are rumors that Mr. Obama will take the unprecedented step of wearing a flag pin on his lapel, but his schedule suggests that he will travel to Elwood direct from a pick-up basketball game and will in fact still be in sweats.
As previously reported, the traditional job of laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery will fall to Vice President Joe Biden. Carefully prepared remarks, this time, should keep the Vice President from requesting that the deceased "stand up and take a bow."
UPDATED -- 19:00 UTC -- President Obama's Memorial Day address was cancelled by a sudden thunderstorm. Mr. Obama took the podium when the weather came up. He said, "No one wants to see a transformational president cut down by lightning, least of all before my time on the world stage is over." He asked spectators to return to their cars as well.
Mr. Obama is not the first President to avoid the traditional ceremony at Arlington. There is no record of President Washington ever laying a wreath at the National Cemetery. Nor did Jefferson Davis honor Union soldiers there.
After the weather passed, wire services reported that Mr. Obama boarded a pair of buses to greet attendees. This would make him the first President to board a pair of buses since President Taft. Media were given copies of Mr. Obama's prepared remarks, but they were snatched back once it became clear that the President would not have to go out on a limb.
Vice President Biden did speak at Arlington and, by all accounts, neither did nor said anything that would induce ridicule of the Executive Branch.