The father of a Marine killed in last year’s terrorist bombing in Afghanistan castigated President Joe Biden for using the one-year anniversary of the Kabul attack to tape a playful segment about cars with comedian Jay Leno.
Thirteen American services members were killed in the Aug. 26, 2021, blast, including Marine staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover, whose father spent Friday at Arlington National Cemetery, where his son lies, as a form of remembrance.
Biden taped a segment for an upcoming “Jay Leno’s Garage” on TV as he drove his vintage Corvette and engaged in cheery chitchat with Leno. The action infuriated Darin Hoover, Taylor’s father.
“He is tone deaf and insensitive. It’s ridiculous,” Hoover said, according to the Daily Mail. “I don’t expect the world to stand still to celebrate our children, but at least do something.
Today we remember Utah’s Darin Taylor Hoover and the 12 other Americans who lost their lives in the Kabul airport bombing. These heroes made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our democracy. We cannot let their service be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/eylDY7wQxD
— Evan McMullin ?? (@EvanMcMullin) August 26, 2022
“We went to Arlington and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Why can’t he do something in memory of all 13? It needs to be reflected on and remembered.”
Hoover said the Arlington ceremony was important.
“To have such a solemn ceremony, to have people there, the meaning of it,” he said. … “Nothing is going to change, but it goes a long way in helping to know they are not going to be forgotten.”
Biden was peppy and energized when he spoke to the media about his segment with Leno, which was filmed at a Secret Service training facility.
Biden on filming with Leno: “It was a lot of fun. We talked about how electric cars are going to change the nature of our environment.”
“It was even more fun driving my old corvette… And they had that Ford Lightning vehicle, got to drive that again too. That was a fast SOB.” pic.twitter.com/I8ud26B7wz
— AlexGangitano (@AlexGangitano) August 26, 2022
“It was really good. It was even more fun driving my old Corvette,” Biden said, according to Deadline.
The president enthused about driving a Ford Lightning. “That was a fast SOB,” he said.
Biden was asked when he left the White House if he had spoken with the families of the Kabul victims.
“Not today, but I have spoken in the past,” he said, according to a White House transcript.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden covered his bases with the statement, according to a transcript of her media briefing.
When asked about Hoover’s comment, she replied, “This is an incredibly important day that he wants to make sure that he acknowledged, which is why he put out the statement. But he and the First Lady have not lost focus on those families or any of the families that have lost loved ones in this 20-year war. Because that — remember, we were there for two decades, and we lost a lot of lives.”
— Meghan Hays (@MegHays46) August 26, 2022
In the statement, he said the slain were “beloved sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. They came from all across our land. Each carried with them the pride of their own unique story and the hopes of the loved ones who nurtured them.
“But they were united by a common call—to serve something greater than themselves. They were heroes, working to save lives as part of the largest airlift evacuation operation in our history.
“The example of their bravery and selflessness will live forever as a testament to the very best of our American character.”
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