Sunday marks 100 years since the end of World War I, the supposed “war to end all wars” that caused the deaths of tens of millions of soldiers and civilians.

Leaders from across the globe are in France to commemorate the centennial. German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined French President Emmanuel Macron at the site of Germany’s 1918 surrender on Saturday. British Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also honored the fallen.

President Donald Trump, who departed for Paris on Friday, was also scheduled to visit a cemetery that contains the remains of thousands of U.S. troops who were killed in World War I.

That is, until there was a chance of rain.

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump cancelled their Saturday plans to honor Americans who were killed in service to their country due to the weather.

President Trump has canceled his scheduled trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial in France today because of the bad weather. (They were scheduled to chopper and it’s nasty. Kelly and Dunford will go instead.) Now he has a large block of free time this afternoon.

— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) November 10, 2018

David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush who has been a frequent critic of Trump, provided some additional context that somehow makes the president’s decision even worse.

It’s not even 60 miles from central Paris to the monument. If the weather is too wet & windy for helicopters, a presidential motorcade could drive the distance in an hour.

— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 10, 2018

On site, presidential advance could easily erect a tent to protect the dignitaries (and the the presidential hair-do) from inclement weather

— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 10, 2018

Frum noted that Trump wasn’t required to make the trip to Europe, but still opted to do so before bailing on a ceremony and moment of silence to honor fallen American soldiers.

Remember, there was no need for this trip at all. The president could have laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, then spoken a few appropriate words.

— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 10, 2018

But bottom line: Trump willfully insisted on an unnecessary trip to France to mark the WW1 centenary -then once he got there shirked on grounds of weather the job of honoring those who fought and died in rain and mud 100 years ago https://t.co/7u3qZCmBRB pic.twitter.com/5TX1WLt9k8

— David Frum (@davidfrum) November 10, 2018

The New Republic’s Jeet Heer said Trump’s decision was “a huge diplomatic insult” to France.

1. It can’t be underlined enough how important the First World War is to France’s national self-conception. Trump’s failure to attend the memorial is a huge diplomatic insult.

— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) November 10, 2018

8. To underscore the argument: the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War is a really big deal in France, much of Europe, and the Commonwealth. Imagine a foreign leader shrugging off attending similar anniversary of, say, Gettysburg.

— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) November 10, 2018

Nicholas Soames, the grandson of former British prime minister and current conservative icon Winston Churchill, ripped Trump on Twitter.

They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic inadequate @realDonaldTrump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen #hesnotfittorepresenthisgreatcountry

— Nicholas Soames (@NSoames) November 10, 2018

The president of the United States claims to love the troops, but his behavior says otherwise. Gold Star families demanded an apology from Trump in 2016 after he attacked the parents of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. Last year, the president claimed a Gold Star widow was lying when she said the president “couldn’t remember” the name of U.S. Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who was killed in Niger last year, when he made a condolence call to Johnson’s family. ProPublica reported in August that a “shadow cabinet” of members of Mar-a-Lago, the Trump-owned golf club in Palm Beach, Florida, has been making decisions for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Trump still hasn’t visited American troops in combat overseas.

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After Khan’s father, Khizr Khan, criticized the then-Republican nominee for having “sacrificed nothing and no one” during a speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Trump claimed he had “made a lot of sacrifices” in an interview on ABC.

“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”

The White House had already announced that Trump would not be attending a “global cooperation” meeting in France this weekend. By skipping the event to honor fallen American soldiers, which was attended by White House chief of staff John Kelly instead, it now appears as though the only purpose of Trump’s visit was to take part in one-on-one meetings with Macron and other leaders, including possibly Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source Link:
https://thinkprogress.org/donald-trump-world-war-i-centennial-us-military-france-rain-russia-vladimir-putin-d1baa39a0129/

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