Obama Focuses On Honoring Veterans This Memorial Day Weekend
President Obama’s re-election campaign is partly focusing on courting the vote of veterans, whose votes republicans won in the last election.
According to CNN, in the 2008 election, Senator McCain received 55 percent of the veteran vote, as compared to President Obama’s 45 percent. However, “in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll Mr. Obama leads Romney among that group 44% to 37%.”
The president’s defense policies are likely contributing to that shift, especially the fact that he was responsible for the death of Osama bin Laden. First Lady Michelle Obama is also contributing to veterans’ support for the president, given her work for veterans and their families.
Yet, some veterans, and republicans, remain skeptical of “an election year appeal to veterans,” CNN reports. Former Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi, currently “pitching Mitt Romney and his policies to veterans and their families,” said that veterans “deserve support every day of the year, but not just when it's convenient, a convenient time in our nation's history.”
President Obama has recently stated, “We will care and serve our veterans the way they’ve served us,” but he made sure to emphasize the sacrifice of veterans in his weekly address for memorial weekend.
In his address, aptly titled, “Honoring Our Fallen Heroes this Memorial Day,” President Obama commented on the need to honor veterans of not only the Revolutionary War and Vietnam, but also those of Iraq and Afghanistan. He remarked:
“Even as we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we reaffirm our commitment to care for those who served alongside them – the veterans who came home…
“We have to serve them and their families as well as they have served us: By making sure that they get the healthcare and benefits they need; by caring for our wounded warriors and supporting our military families; and by giving veterans the chance to go to college, find a good job, and enjoy the freedom that they risked everything to protect.”
Amidst statements regarding the importance of honoring veterans’ sacrifices and taking care of those who survived the wars in which they fought, and are still fighting, President Obama verbally recognized that “No words can ever bring back a loved one who has been lost. No ceremony can do justice to their memory. No honor will ever fill their absence.” Treating veterans as citizens who sacrifice the most for their country, Obama made clear that they are responsible for the United States’ enduring freedom.
He closed his address with the following promise:
“…on Memorial Day, we come together as Americans to let these families and veterans know that they are not alone. We give thanks for those who sacrificed everything so that we could be free. And we commit ourselves to upholding the ideals for which so many patriots have fought and died.”
Watch President Obama’s Weekly Address: