- The Washington Times - Friday, September 11, 2020

President Trump is under fire this week from Democrats who claim he’s disrespected veterans by moving a POW/MIA flag from atop the White House to an on-site memorial.

At issue is the implementation of S.693 — the National POW/MIA Flag Act — which was signed into law in November and increases the frequency and locations the POW/MIA flag is flown on federal properties.

Bill sponsor Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other colleagues signed a letter framing the move as a sign of disrespect toward the military community.

“This decision to abruptly move the POW/MIA Flag from atop the White House to an area that is apparently not visible to the public may violate federal law and does not appropriately honor the service and sacrifices of American prisoners of war, missing servicemembers, and their families,” the letter read, Reuters reported Friday.

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, a co-sponsor of the bill, also lambasted the decision.

“It’s part of a pattern of disrespect by President Trump toward those who honorably served our nation,” the Democrat said.

Their protest comes in the wake of an Atlantic article in which an anonymous source claimed Mr. Trump called fallen military personnel “losers” and “suckers.”

The president has denied the claims.

Multiple witnesses to the alleged conversation — including former national security adviser John Bolton — have publicly rejected the story.

“President Trump dedicated a POW/MIA memorial site earlier this year on the White House grounds to forever remember our heroic service members who were prisoners of war or missing in action,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told Reuters. “The president selected a site on the Southwest corner of the South Lawn for this prominent and sacred memorial, which is visible to all those who visit the White House, that features the POW/MIA flag.”

Mr. Trump also proclaimed Sept. 20 to be National POW/MIA Recognition Day last year.

“My Administration is dedicated to locating and identifying the more than 81,000 American service members unaccounted for — many of whom were former prisoners of war — to help alleviate the grieving and prolonged uncertainty of their families,” he wrote. “We vow to pursue the fullest possible accounting of these gallant patriots.”

“I call upon the people of the United States to join me in saluting all American POWs and those missing in action who valiantly served our country,” he continued. “I call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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