President Obama absent from the Arlington 2010 Memorial Day Ceremony-Truth!

President Obama Was Not At Arlington For The 2010 Memorial Day Ceremony-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded email that said President Obama would not be attending the 2010 Memorial Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.   

The Truth:

The President participated in a 2010 Memorial Day ceremony at Lincoln National Cemetery in Ellwood, IL while he and the first family were in Chicago.  A a torrential downpour prevented the President from giving his prepared speech but he did approach the podium with the aid of an umbrella and requested that members of the audience immediately seek shelter from the storm. Vice President Biden was at Arlington National Cemetery for the 2010 traditional wreath laying ceremony. 

Memorial Day falls on the last weekend in May and it is a day of remembrance for the defenders of freedom who died serving in the U.S. Military.  Each year at Arlington National Cemetery in Fort Meyers, VA a wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns. 

This was not the first time a sitting US President has been absent for the last weekend in May tradition. Although the honor of placing the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns usually falls on a sitting US President, Vice Presidents, Cabinet members or high ranking members of government have participated in this ceremony in the past.     In 2002 Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz laid the wreath at Arlington while President George W. Bush was in France participating in a Memorial Day ceremony at the World War II Normandy American Cemetery.    According to a Washington Post May 28, 2010 article, President Bill Clinton had a perfect attendance record for the Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington.  Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush (41) did not attend any Arlington Memorial Day ceremonies while in office.  Ronald Reagan missed two Arlington events during his period in the Oval Office but spoke one Memorial Day at the West Point military academy. 

Updated 06/01/10

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

I am absolutely Incensed !!!!!!!

On tonight’s news I learned that President Obama , breaking with Presidential tradition will not appear at Arlington National cemetery on Memorial Day. I am sure all military veterans and their families are offended by this overt disregard and disrespect of our deceased veterans. What in this world is this man thinking where he can diss those who have served and given their lives for this country. This not a political issue. This man who has been elected as our president seems to be telling us that those who have laid down their lives for this country are inconsequential in their plan fo the future of this country. I am deeply offended as I suspect most people especially the veterans of this country are.