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CSotD: Soldiers in the Rain

David Rowe does have the advantage of a half-day time difference, but I was surprised to find him one of so few to respond instantly to Trump’s decision to skip the 100th Anniversary of the End of WWI because of what is reported to have been a light rain.

And it’s a nice merge of the poppies with Trump’s well-mocked inability to properly use an umbrella, and perhaps a hint of the memorable moment when he walked under one and left his wife out in the rain.

The poppies left out in the rain, scattered about him in the wet, being a reminder of the number of men who died in rainy, muddy trenches a century ago, and whom he was supposed to be honoring.

And, yes, it was a Saturday, which not only means that cartoonists were at football games or having a final barbecue or otherwise engaged in personal time, but also that the Sunday editorial sections had long since been printed and were sitting in stacks waiting for the live news to join them.

Still, a momentary glance at social media would alert anyone to the explosion of fury happening there, and enough cartoonists post their material to Facebook or Twitter, and upload directly to the syndicate sites, that you have to wonder at such silence in a live moment which will not seem half so vibrant come Monday or Tuesday.

We’ll see what comes in the days ahead, but this topic, after all, has a specific date attached.

 

I’d never heard of Tim Winters, but one of my veteran son’s shipmates posted this piece, which is far from subtle but, then again, subtlety is most valuable when used to bring out a message that people are missing.

Nobody seems to be missing the point here except Dear Leader himself.

I did see an apologist arguing that, golly gee, if the Secret Service says the weather is too bad for Marine One to fly to the memorial, well, that’s it.

Though several people have posted pictures of Merkel and Macron who somehow managed to make it there.

Pride and character and respect aside, I kind of wonder what the taxpayers shelled out so that Donnie could sit in a hotel room in Paris playing on his phone. He could have heartlessly insulted the fire victims in California without expending all that jet fuel.

The other question it raises is what LBJ’s response — or Truman’s or Eisenhower’s or any other president’s response — would have been, if the Secret Service had told him it was too rainy to fly the helicopter, particularly if he knew that other leaders had these mysterious “automobile” things at their disposal.

I’ll bet the security was already at a high level along the motor route and, besides, if some cunning assassins — perhaps impoverished Central American children — were waiting, they were expecting a helicopter, not a limo.

Point is, if William Henry Harrison could stand out in the rain, Donnie, so could you. (Shh — don’t tell him.)

 

Justin Trudeau did when it rained for the Dieppe Memorial last year.

As Vladimir Putin did when it rained on a veteran’s commemoration in Moscow that same year.

As Kennedy and De Gaulle did when it rained in 1961.

And Obama, facing a much fiercer storm on Memorial Day, 2010, at least showed up and made this short speech:

Excuse me, everybody listen up. We are a little bit concerned about lightning. This may not be safe. So I know that all of you are here to commemorate the fallen and that’s why we’re here. What we’d like to do is, if possible, have people move back to their cars, and if this passes in the next 15-20 minutes, I will stick around and we’ll come up and start up the ceremony again. But we don’t want to endanger anyone, particularly children in the audience. So I’d ask everybody to very calmly, move back to your cars. I’m going to move back to mine. We will wait to make sure that the thunder has passed. A little bit of rain doesn’t hurt anybody, but we don’t want anybody being struck by lightning.

God bless you everybody. We will be staying here and will make an announcement shortly.

Anyway, the irony here is that a man who evaded military service because of heel spurs used rain as an excuse to blow off the chance to honor men who battled trench foot and who lived, and died, in the mud and muck and wet for years, not one short afternoon.

 

But, honestly, Trump’s manipulation, sending US troops on a useless mission to the southern border to repel a bunch of women and children, his neglect to ever visit our troops overseas, his ham-handed approach to reforming the VA and now this candy-ass response to rain on a major international commemoration to sacrifice, bring to mind another poem.

If Trump represents America, then this poem may be more appropriate for today.

It was written a few years after the war, by Vera Brittain, a volunteer overseas nurse who lost her brother, her fiance and most of the young men she knew and loved most, and who held the dying hands of many others she didn’t:

 

Yet others do remember, in fair weather or foul:

 

Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
November/11/2018
@ 9:49 am

It has been suggested many times that Trump is in the mid-stages of onset dementia. Given his actions, especially in the past couple of weeks, I wouldnt be at all surprised… but it does make me wonder what it must be like for Melania and the White House staff to deal with this man in a place no one else is allowed to see.

Having a friend whose father went through it for a few years before passing on at 78, I can see it in Trump, with absolutely no doubt. There must be nights in that building that are truly terrifying.

#2 Edward Lipe
November/11/2018
@ 10:26 am

I’m sure it never rained on Flanders Fields

#3 Mary McNeil
November/11/2018
@ 3:24 pm

To your point, Sean, even Ronald Reagan – in a similar state -always managed to make an appearance. But he worked by the axiom “The show must go on.”

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