As you well know, this week brought 13 flagged-draped boxes back to the United States, back to the family who will miss them dearly, and back to the land they fought so hard to serve and protect. The occasion should have offered some closure to those receiving the remains. It should have been a moment of grief but also of respect and dignity.
And yet, thanks to our not so gracious or capable leader, it was none of those things. At least not on his part.
Like most presidents before him have, Democrat Joe Biden took time out of his busy schedule to travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to honor the lives and now tragic loss of these 13 American heroes on Sunday. But unlike his predecessors, it really wasn’t about honor or respect.
As multiple witnesses can attest to, including the many family members of these Gold Star recipients, all of it was nothing more than a formality to Biden, something to say he did and tout about at a later date.
Although I think that touting will have to wait until some of the blowback from his recent transgressions die down.
Transgressions like rolling his eyes at the mother of one of the fallen heroes when she refused to believe that Biden had been in her shoes as he said he had.
Like all other family members in attendance, Shana Chappell was offered a meeting with the president before the traditional “dignified transfer of remains’ ceremony on the tarmac. And she, like all the others, expected to hear his condolences, his regrets, his honor for her son, US Marine Lance Cpl. Kareem Mae’Lee Grant Kikoui.
But that’s not what she heard from our supposed leader and commander in chief. Instead, Biden tried to soothe her and connect with her by telling of his own loss. As you may know, Biden too lost a son once, but it was under very different circumstances. As tragic as his death and any death is, Beau Biden died of cancer at age 46.
His father tried to make it seem like their stories were similar, as Beau had also served his country overseas at a younger age. But as Chappell pointed out to Biden, their stories were nothing alike.
And Biden was not at all nice about it.
In fact, according to Chappell, Biden even tried to interrupt her on several occasions just to get his “sob story” out. And when she wouldn’t let him continue, he rolled his eyes at her. Then mere moments later, after apparently tired of hearing about her loss, you know, the one he was there to pay homage to, he threw up his hands in disgust and walked off.
So much for showing dignity and respect.
But it’s not the only similar story to be told about Sunday.
Biden also met with other family members, like 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz’s father, Mark. The conversation, according to Mr. Schmitz, was nearly exactly like that he had with Chappell.
Instead of grieving with the families, he turned the meeting into something all about his own son. Schmitz, quite naturally, didn’t appreciate this, and so he pulled out a photo of his recently killed son and forced Biden to look at it, demanding that he never “forget that name.”
Biden apparently didn’t like looking at his problems in the face and so snapped at Schmitz, yelling, “I do know their stories.”
For expectant mother and the wife of fallen hero Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, Jiennah, she too received nothing more from Biden than a “scripted and shallow” conversation “that lasted only a couple of minutes.” And while she was not alone in receiving her husband’s remains, the other members of her family were so disgusted with Biden’s failures, as well as his “fake” conversation, that they walked out of the meeting with him.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, Biden was caught on camera multiple times during the actual ‘dignified transfer of remains’ ceremony checking his watch, as if he had somewhere more important to be.
As the father of Army Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, Darin, noted, “The checking of his watch, that didn’t happen just once. That happened on every single one that came out of that airplane….” As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with Hoover, who said it “the most disrespectful thing (he’d) ever seen.”
No doubt all of America agrees. For a president of the United States to act in such a fashion towards those who gave their lives for our continued freedoms and who have just lost their whole world for that same cause is indeed disrespectful. But more than that, it’s completely un-American.
Biden should be ashamed of himself…