Heavy thunderstorms interrupted President Obama's visit to the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Elwood, Ill., today, and he urged those on hand to take shelter in their cars."I'd ask everybody to very calmly move back to their cars. I'm going to go back to mine. We will make sure the thunder has passed."
Obama laid a wreath at the tombstones of veterans at the cemetery just after 11 a.m. today. -- and just before the skies opened up.
After being escorted to the site by Marines, the president set down the wreath and stood solemnly, looking down, as a single trumpeter played "Taps". He wore a dark suit, white shirt and maroon tie.
A gentle breeze made the individual American flags in front of each of the headstones flutter under cloudy skies.
Thunder roared ominously as Obama and the other speakers made their way to the stage for the speaking part of the program. Thousands of people waited as bagpipers played.
But Obama could not even begin his speech as heavy rains poured down, drowning out his words. Thunder and lightning interrupted him. He said he did not want to risk anyone's safety, so he asked people to go back to their cars.
"A little bit of rain doesn't hurt anybody but we don't want anyone to be struck by lightning," Obama said.
The president said he'd wait to see if the thunder passes "in the next 15-20 minutes."
More than 20 minutes later, the thunder, lightning and downpour continue strong.
The wreath the president set up has blown over in the storm.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Obama's Memorial Day Speech In Ill. Rained Out, But Hot & Sunny In DC (Arlington Cemetery)
From the Chicago Sun Times:
Meanwhile, it is a hot, humid day here in the DC area and at Arlington National Cemetery.
I think God and the spirits of our nation's fallen made their feelings known today about "The Won" skipping Arlington Cemetery.