Veterans Day came and went with millions of Americans around the nation coming together to share a somber embrace of dignity, honor, and respect for those who have served, or are actively serving, in the United States Military. One face was notably absent from the thousands of celebrations dotted across America; President-elect Donald J. Trump, who apparently did not attend a single Veteran’s Day celebration despite his impending rise to Commander in Chief of the entire United States military in just a few short weeks. If Trump were looking for a way in which to endear himself to the troops, of which Trump is solely responsible for issuing orders for them to risk their lives, this was likely not the best route.
After spending months describing how much respect he has for the military, while simultaneously attacking veterans like Sen. John McCain for being captured during Vietnam and disrespecting the family of fallen service members like Humayun Khan for the calamitous offense of being a Muslim, Trump was nowhere to be found. There is not a single note, record, or press release of Trump making any public appearances on Veteran’s Day. In fact, unless one follows Trump’s Twitter feed one might believe he was completely unaware the national holiday was even happening. Trump wrote on Twitter:
Today we express our deepest gratitude to all those who have served in our armed forces. #ThankAVet
That was it. Nothing else. He didn’t visit a graveyard, he didn’t make any telephone calls to military families, he didn’t visit the thousands of Americans recovering from various wounds and afflictions in our nation’s veterans hospitals, he didn’t even bring a dish to pass at a local community center potluck for veterans. When a minor gesture can make the difference to so many who have put their lives on the line to defend America, Trump decided that no gestures were required.
One can imagine the outrage of conservatives if the roles were reversed and President Barack Obama failed to make an appearance at a public event honoring veterans. There would be calls for Obama’s lack of patriotism, and that he was a traitor to those who serve under him. They would say that Obama is a weak leader, and does not inspire the troops. The babble would be endless and full of empty righteous indignation. Those scenarios didn’t happen, however, because President Obama was at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day where he gave a humble speech about the thousands who are laid to rest, and to offer his sincere gratitude for the bravery of the fallen. That’s what a president should do, that is the duty of a president, which is something Donald J. Trump clearly does not understand.
Watch Obama’s full Veteran’s Day remarks below:
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Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.