Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery verses Arlington National Cemetery.

I was a little surprised when I first read from a Facebook friend a status update that angrily announced President Obama’s decision to go to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery outside Chicago instead of Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.  Of course, that’s not how the story was spun in the link she included.  It said, “Obama will use Memorial weekend for a trip home to Chicago.”

“I close my eyes drop my head and shake it in sadness and utter disappointment,” she wrote.  Then commenting on her own post, she wrote:

One person said it all when she said “At first I was totally shocked, irritated, disquested (sic), and saddened that Obama was not visiting Arlington National Cemetary (sic) to honor our fallen warriors, but the more I thought about it, I don’t want him there. I believe in my heart that his appearance would do more to dishonor them by his disrespect of what they did, our country, and the American people. Mr John McCain should’ve been the one picked to do such an honor.”

When I read about this in my local paper (a story by Anne E. Kornblut from the Washington Post), my first thought was, “Finally, a President going to a different National Cemetery.”  I thought about the veterans I’ve buried, some in National Cemeteries; the ground in which they are buried will be honored, too.

Yes, the tradition is for the President to participate in ceremonies at Arlington, but I wonder, “Why not at some other National Cemetery?  Sure there’s all sorts of history and tradition at Arlington, but, really, why not some place else?”

The end of the article pointed out that President Obama will not be the first President to the ceremony at Arlington.  One year, President Reagan spoke at West Point, and another year, he went to is California ranch.  I can’t help but wonder if some of the outrage is simply because it is an opportunity to be outraged.

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