A retired Army Lieutenant General, John B. Sylvester maintains that, unlike in previous years and under previous presidents, hundreds, if not thousands, of veterans, their families, friends and others, were turned away during their simple attempts to honor their fallen comrades and family members on Memorial Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, commonly referred to as The Wall, in Washington, D.C. This would appear to confirm an earlier blog report at Thoughts from a Conservative Mom blog.
The claim is that a decision by the Obama administration put a political speech meant to bolster his chances at re-election, above the desires, traditions and practices of many Vietnam-era military members and their families, who have been coming together at The Wall on Memorial Day for decades, now. No notice was given regarding the closing due to Obama's decision to use The Wall as backdrop in his Memorial Day speech.
Sources insist it remained closed for hours, until most simply grew frustrated and went away. For decades, individuals have been coming together there on Memorial Day to perform simple acts and observances in keeping with America's established Memorial Day tradition.
Lt. General Sylvester had written the following in an e-mail:
I just wanted a bunch of you to know about this travesty. When we were turned away from The Wall, I went to lay wreaths on my Mom and Dad and Brother and Sister’s graves at Arlington. Guess what? They had that closed for the great man too!!! Not sure who his canned audiences were at either place, but not many veterans like the thousands of guys I saw going away pretty angry.
According to an update in an initial blog report, "'The National Park Service, Public Affairs, and Vietnam Veterans of America all confirmed the shut-down when contacted by phone. VVA said that all the guests had to be pre-screened for security reasons, and it would have been “very difficult” to give advance notice to all the families and vets who arrived to find it closed.'"
Reactions from veterans who were turned away for lack of a White House pass from the Obama administration, range from outraged to saddened when read, or heard for this report, based on multiple confirmed, seemingly reliable sources. Unlike the mainstream media, the blog that did report on the reality of events of this Memorial Day caused me to take a closer look.
Below some additional reflections taken from emails shared with me and approved for publication.
I saw this first hand and I bet you won’t hear about this from the Liberal media… Vietnam veterans and the families of Vietnam veterans killed in action whose names are etched on the Wall were denied access to their memorial today, of all days, Memorial Day. The Vietnam Memorial was shutdown, cleared and secured for approximately 5 hours prior to Obama, his cronies and hand picked veterans for a 15 minute appearance by Obama. It’s obvious it was all for show.
Hundreds if not thousands of Vietnam veterans and families of Vietnam veterans killed in Vietnam stood in disbelief as Secret Service, Park Police, Washington DC Police, etc., blocked all access to the Vietnam Memorial and kept everyone approximately 100 yards away from their memorial for the first time in the history of the Memorial so Obama could get some photos of him at the Wall. Veterans in uniforms stood in the heat angered as Obama makes them wait. It was a photo op at their expense and families of those killed in Vietnam.
To point out the obvious political nature of the visit, Riehl noted how, in years past, Obama had not made a practice of participating in Memorial Day events or speeches. It was another day to golf. I can only think of two other times Obama has given Memorial Day speeches. One was thrown together as he headed to Chicago for the weekend at a nearby cemetery, and even God sent showers of displeasure. In 2008, Obama proved he didn't know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, as he appeared to reference the ghosts of fallen vets in attendance.
Those Veterans and their families deserved more respect from this raging, narcissist President than what they got instead. Memorial Day should only be a day to remember the fallen, and for their families, friends, fellow Vets and a grateful nation to honor them. It should never become just another campaign stop for any President, especially one who wants to slash their benefits while claiming credit for the success of the bin Laden raid.