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CONFUSES MEMORIAL DAY WITH VETERANS’ DAY
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 31, 2010) — Evidently they didn’t teach U.S. history at Obama’s school in Indonesia.
In his Saturday internet address, Obama encouraged Americans to observe Memorial Day with “deeds…By making sure the men and women serving this country around the world have the support they need to achieve their missions and come home safely. By making sure veterans have the care and assistance they need. In short, by serving all those who have ever worn the uniform of this country – and their families – as well as they have served us.”
However, Memorial Day is not about living veterans. It is about those who have given their lives in defense of the country. It is meant to be “a solemn day of mourning.” Even PBS states that the observance is meant to honor the war dead, not veterans.
Memorial Day was first called “Decoration Day,” and “The first large observance was held…at Arlington National Cemetery,” where Obama will not be today. However, Obama’s description of how Memorial Day began appears to be accurate. Several towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day due to the tributes they had been paying to those fallen in the Civil War before the holiday became official. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed that Waterloo, NY was the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
Originally designated as May 30, in 1971 Congress passed a law to move Memorial Day to the last Monday in May to create a three-day weekend intended to encourage travel and cultural activities. The law did the same for Washington’s birthday, Columbus Day and Veterans’ Day. However, in 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed legislation which returned Veterans’ Day to November 11.
In contrast, Veterans’ Day, observed on November 11 each year, began as “Armistice Day” after the conclusion of World War I. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued his first Veterans’ Day Proclamation in 1954, which stated, “WHEREAS, in order to expand the significance of that commemoration and in order that a grateful Nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation, the Congress, by an act approved June 1, 1954 (68 Stat. 168), changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day:…”
During the 2008 campaign in Beaverton, OR, Obama claimed to have visited 57 states in the nation when there are only 50. He also fumbled his oath of office on January 20, 2009, reportedly retaking it the next day in private.
Obama also claimed during the campaign that Alabama and Kentucky were neighboring states and that he was born after the march in Selma, AL. The civil rights march in Selma occurred in 1965, but Obama has also widely claimed he was born in 1961.
The Washington Post article describes Chicago as Obama’s “home town.” However, other news sources have stated that Honolulu is Obama’s home town. One source says that both Chicago and Honolulu are Obama’s “home town.” Obama himself has called Jakarta, Indonesia his “old home town.”
Michelle Obama has stated that Kenya is Obama’s “home country.” Members of the Kenyan Parliament have indeed stated that Obama was born in that country. How, then, could Honolulu or Chicago be Obama’s “home town”?