“As a patriot, the mother of an active duty Marine, the sister and wife of two men who proudly served in the Air Force during the Viet Nam Era, and the daughter of a WWII Navy Veteran, I am appalled at your suggestion to protest the war on Memorial Day. You claim to support the troops, yet you choose the very day set aside to honor those who have died in service of their country, to encourage people to negate the meaning behind those who gave all in Iraq. … We demand victory! Please lay aside your political ambitions and do what is best for this country.” – TJH Mom commenting at Gathering of Eagles
“This "protest" will serve to diminish the sacrifice made by our dead and their families in the service of this country by turning it into a form of political theater… Shoddy, insensitive, uncaring, self-centered hardly begin to cover the contempt I feel for the candidate who lowers the already contemptible world of politics to this new low.” –Eagle1 at Mudville Gazette
The response that seems to be getting the most attention is an open letter from Paul A. Morin, National Commander of the American Legion, who said “…one presidential candidate has blatantly violated the sanctity of this most special day...the video is titled ‘A Memorial Day Message from John Edwards,’ with the smoking gun note, ‘Paid for by John Edwards for President.’ Moreover, the e-mail recommends that Americans bring signs with the message ‘Support the troops, End the War’ to local Memorial Day parades. Revolting is a kind word for it. It’s as inappropriate as a political bumper sticker on an Arlington headstone.”
I guess I am not out of touch with the military community after all.
As for whether or not Edwards is a smart politician -- that remains to be seen. I don’t think it was a politically smart move to advocate turning Memorial Day Weekend into an anti-war event, but then I didn’t think it was a politically smart move to build a 28,000 square foot mansion and get a $400 haircut at the same time he was running for president on a poverty platform, railing against the “Two Americas” either.
Whether a smart political move or the dumbest thing Edwards has done since allowing himself to be filmed painstakingly primping his hair in front of a compact makeup mirror, taking Memorial Day away from those it was meant to honor is just plain wrong.