INSTEAD, CHOOSES TO VISIT A CEMETERY IN ILLINOIS WHILE ON VACATION THERE
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 29, 2010) — Obama will not visit Arlington National Cemetery this Memorial Day as presidents traditionally have each year. Instead, he will visit the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL, perhaps to coincide with his five-day vacation in Chicago.
A flyover which was to take place as part of a military-honoring event was canceled by the Secret Service because of Obama’s vacation. The flyover was to have performed the Missing Man formation in honor of POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War.
There have been other instances in which presidents did not attend the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington on Memorial Day.
The Washington Post says that Obama’s decision comes at a “sensitive moment” and describes Obama’s relationship with the military as “mixed.” Obama recently fired Admiral Dennis C. Blair from his position as National Intelligence Director. Blair had apparently been forbidden to speak with the press and had written a letter to Obama explaining his side of the story which was “blocked by the White House staff before it reached” Obama. CBS News contends that Blair’s firing was leaked before his resignation was received or acknowledged. An ABC report appears to confirm it.
Blair had been appointed early in 2009 and, according to some reports, occupied a “nebulous” position for which “clarity can only come from the president.” Blair had been a four-star Navy admiral before being selected to coordinate the 16 agencies comprising the U.S. intelligence community. On Blair’s resignation/firing, Obama reportedly mentioned Blair’s “remarkable record of service,” but another report stated that Blair’s departure came “after months of friction and repeated duels with White House officials.”
Also according to ABC, John Brennan is favored to replace Blair, even though after the presidential election, Brennan had been reportedly considered a top choice but had withdrawn from the running after “mounting criticism over his role in Bush-era intelligence abuses.”
Obama attended Arlington last year on Memorial Day, but one website depicts him failing to salute the flag in situations where it is clear that others are doing so. He reportedly saluted when the Russian national anthem was played during his visit there in 2008. A video confirming one of the aforementioned photos showing Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico and former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton saluting can be viewed here. The same report quotes an Obama spokesperson in 2007 when asked whether or not Obama saluted the flag as saying, “Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t [put his hand on his heart]. In no way was he making any sort of statement, and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous.”
However, flag etiquette states that “To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.”
Regarding the national anthem, the etiquette is “When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.”
Obama occupies the White House without any proof of eligibility, will not properly salute the flag or stand at attention during the national anthem, and spent his formative years in a foreign country. The state he claims as his birthplace has refused to release any of his purported birth records, instead publishing a web page to address “frequently asked questions” about Obama’s information.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.