Four final observations. The first two come from readers with relatives buried at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.
While I get your point that going to a national cemetery other than Arlington should be an acceptable compromise I have a slightly different perspective.
My father is buried at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. Every year on Memorial Day I visit his grave and that of his cousin who fought in the Pacific and is buried there as well.
This year I will wait until next weekend because I don’t want to have to deal with the circus that the president’s visit will create.
Arlington is set up for this kind of event. Abraham Lincoln is not. It is located out in the countryside (not in Chicago as some press have reported) and one gets there along a country road. I can only imagine with the press and the president’s motorcade it will be a mess.
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery is quite lovely and I have only good things to say for the VA Cemetery service that maintains it. In fact, that might be the only federal government department (outside the military) that I think is wonderful.
I guess I am old fashioned that I with the president and the circus that surrounds him would stay put in DC which is designed to deal with it!
I saw the e-mail responses to your “In Memoriam” post, and I have a different reaction. If President Obama had decided to skip visiting a national cemetery today, then I think there would be a problem. But, as you said, there are many brave veterans at Lincoln National Cemetery, one of whom is my uncle, who is an Army vet who passed away last year. So, frankly, I am happy that the President is visiting there today and showing my uncle and all of the other vets buried there the respect they deserve.
A couple of readers made this point: Were Reagan, Bush, and Bush anti-military?
If snopes is accurate, (they usually are), I have to side with you on giving Obama a pass on Arlington. The absences of Reagan and Bush 43 can be justified, but Bush 41 pretty much lets Obama off the hook.
Last but not least:
I’m willing to give Obama a pass on not personally appearing at Arlington for Memorial Day, but not for sending Joe Biden in his stead. Sending that idiot anywhere smacks of the calculated insult.