- Country singer Tim McGraw not sorry for slapping female fan: ‘Things happen’
- Iraq vet cited for owning 14 therapeutic pet ducks
- White House takes credit for drop in unaccompanied children at border
- International crises be damned, Obama’s fundraising trip must go on
- Friend of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev found guilty of impeding probe
- Train with MH17 plane crash bodies leaves rebel town in Ukraine
- Half of Colorado voters are OK with Hobby Lobby decision, poll shows
- HIV-killing condom to soon hit shelves in Australia
- Estonia pulls plug on Steven Seagal over praise for Putin
- Lawyer: Pelvic exam pics cost Hopkins $190 million
Memorial Day parade in D.C. honors solemnity of sacrifice
Event fetes Marines
Question of the Day
Earlier in the day, across the Potomac at Arlington National Cemetery, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who carried out the traditional wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns, said the country has “a sacred obligation” to make sure its servicemen and women are the best-equipped and best-supported troops in the world.
“As a nation, we pause to remember them,” Mr. Biden said. “They gave their lives fulfilling their oath to this nation and to us.”
The vice president, accompanied by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the country’s service members are “the heart and soul and, I would say, spine of this nation.” He said taking part in the annual ceremony was “the greatest honor of my public life.”
Meanwhile, President Obama had readied a similar message of gratitude for his appearance at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois, and actually had taken the podium to give the address when the skies opened up with a quintessentially Midwestern late-spring downpour — thunder, lightning and high winds.
Under the cover of a large umbrella, Mr. Obama told thousands gathered before him that “a little bit of rain doesn’t hurt anybody, but we don’t want anybody being struck by lightning.” He asked people to return to their cars for their safety, and he retreated briefly to an administration building on the cemetery’s grounds. A few minutes later, Mr. Obama boarded a pair of buses to greet military families that came for the event.
After leaving the cemetery, Mr. Obama met privately with families of veterans and service members living at the Fisher House in Hines, Ill., which serves as a home away from home for family members whose loved ones are getting treatment at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Hines.
After returning to Washington on Monday evening, Mr. Obama, speaking to dozens of troops at Andrews Air Force Base, said that the meaning of Memorial Day is found in the story of ordinary Americans who become extraordinary for one simple reason: Love of country.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports
About the Author
Michelle Phillips is a student intern with the Washington Times through the National Journalism Center covering international affairs.
After growing up overseas, Ms. Phillips returned to the U.S. to attend Rice University for her bachelor’s degree, and is entering her junior year there. She discovered her love of journalism in college while working for the school newspaper, the Rice Thresher, ...
TWT Video Picks
U.S. appetite for drugs begets violence migrants are fleeing
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- Edward Snowden to work with Russia on anti-spy technology
- Rihanna, Dwight Howard delete #FreePalestine tweets
- YOUNG: A sinking presidency, deeper after November?
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
- MERRY: Handicaps in Hillary's way
- Driver who killed teen on bike sues family for $1.3 million
- Bill Maher blames Hamas for Gaza violence: 'Do you really expect the Israelis not to retaliate?'
- HUMPHRIES: 'Hes the Worst President in 70 Years'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq