What’s Memorial Day to the vice president of the United States of America? Just an excuse for a long weekend, apparently.
I’m not sure what else you’re supposed to take away from what Kamala Harris tweeted out on Saturday afternoon.
Yes, there is a three-day weekend, and for many Americans, it’s only the unofficial kick-off of the summer season or the cue that you can start wearing white. These people are, generally speaking, not in public service.
If they are in elected office, they’re probably surrounded by a phalanx of handlers, at least one of whom would realize the true meaning of the annual holiday on the last Monday in May: To honor those who gave their lives in service of our country.
If national politicians don’t know that, and don’t have staffers who know that, it speaks volumes.
Volumes were indeed spoken by whoever published this Saturday on Harris’ official vice presidential Twitter account:
Enjoy the long weekend. pic.twitter.com/ilGOrod4AW
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 29, 2021
This was, by the way, just a day after Harris gave the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy’s graduation and commissioning ceremony.
It was an honor to speak at the U.S. Naval Academy’s graduation and commissioning ceremony. To the class of 2021: You are tireless. You are ambitious. You are idealists in the truest sense of the word. Hold onto that. Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/NKoLuWhwU2
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 28, 2021
One might think such a recent, personal experience with a branch of the nation’s military would maybe set off a spark in a neuron somewhere, an electrical impulse that would eventually set off an alarm in the temporal lobe and prompt the vice president to commemorate those brave men and women who gave all.
Instead, it was: “Enjoy the long weekend.” Here’s a picture of me!
This didn’t go over well:
It is Memorial Day weekend. This weekend is our time as a nation to honor our Fallen. It is our dedicated time to reflect on our war fighters, those who paid the ultimate price for our Freedom.
— Code of Vets ™ (@codeofvets) May 29, 2021
I know you think the “long weekend” is a chance to post a pic of yourself and get some mimosas as you plan to rip our country apart but it’s actually a time to appreciate the brave soldiers who died for our country & to reflect on the LIFETIME their families spend without them.
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 29, 2021
Apparently your handlers forgot to tell you this is not a long weekend for picnics when you address the military. But a price was paid for you free to be ignorant. pic.twitter.com/pK77GCppvU
— Aja Smith (@AjaforCongress) May 30, 2021
Here’s some facts about Memorial Day since you apparently forgot this isn’t just a “long weekend” pic.twitter.com/t6hED8Yqud
— Texas Federation of College Republicans (@txfcr) May 30, 2021
There was anger, and then there was heartbreak from parents who’ll never forget what Memorial Day is about:
Pfc Justin Ray Davis
1st PLT A Co 1-32 Infantry
1/28/87 – KIA 6/25/06
Korengal Valley, Afghanistan
Always and forever in my heart, my American Hero Son. ♥ pic.twitter.com/gN6R8b3sSn
— MomDukes (@ArmyMomDukes) May 30, 2021
Unbelievably disappointed that there is no mention as to why there is a “long weekend”. This is a picture of our son, PFC Paul Cuzzupe who can’t enjoy the weekend as he died defending our freedom. pic.twitter.com/djHiP09fnU
— Michael Kirk 🇺🇸 (@Flaskinsfan) May 29, 2021
And then there was this, from former Donald Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder of where we are and where we were:
We enjoyed having a president and VP who respected America’s heroes. pic.twitter.com/1LDIHZZL4j
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) May 30, 2021
Harris isn’t president — although she shares an unusual co-billing arrangement with the president, given the unusual tendency at 1600 Pennsylvania to refer to it as the “Biden-Harris administration.”
The point was duly made, however: The vice president didn’t just look down at her calendar and see Monday designated as “Long Weekend.” It said “Memorial Day.” The vice president chose the message she wanted to send out to her supporters — and it was the wrong one.
New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin may have put it best, using his quote-tweet from Harris as a starting point, and adding what should have been there in the first place:
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) May 29, 2021
And yes, there are barbecues and parties and road trips on Memorial Day weekend. That’s all right, so long as we remember why we have the freedom to do these things. Especially for those in public office, we shouldn’t just get to say Memorial Day is a “long weekend” for us.
When the vice president snubs our heroes this way, that’s even more infuriating.
UPDATE, May 30, 2021: On Sunday morning, the vice president’s Twitter account published a kind of “make-up” tweet to pay some tribute to the true heroes honored by the holiday.
Throughout our history our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country. As we prepare to honor them on Memorial Day, we remember their service and their sacrifice.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 30, 2021
But by then, obviously, the damage had been done.
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