Today marked Veterans Day and because of it memorials and celebrations took part all across the country. But especially in Washington, D.C. The administration found a way to celebrate in a multitude of different ways. Most notably, Vice President Pence who appeared at and spoke at one of the war memorials to commemorate those who have fought for our country.
The Vice President joined the efforts of others to clean up the Vietnam Memorial on Saturday during the festivities. He wore rubber gloves and got down to scrubbing the memorial clean where he was photographed doing so alongside Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Later, he attended and gave a speech at a function at Arlington National Cemetery. He told the crowd,
“This is the land of the free because it’s still the land of the brave, and you – our veterans – are our brave. You step forward, you counted our lives more important than yours. And we thank God, who – as Solomon says – trained your hands for war and gave you the strength to advance against a troop, but also brought you home safe to your loved ones and a grateful nation.”
Shortly after he laid a wreath down in honor of those veterans whom he was speaking to. His presence there is unsurprising. Pence’s own father was a veteran of the Korean War and served as a Marine.
NPR reported the following on the day’s events,
“Defense Secretary James Mattis and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke were also in attendance. Pence — known for his indefatigably composed demeanor — concluded his address on a personal note, his voice at times wavering slightly. The vice president — who himself never served in the armed forces but who is both the son and father of servicemen — recounted a conversation with someone who told him that his father’s participation in the Korean War had irrevocably changed him.
“I don’t think your dad ever got over the guilt of coming home,” Pence recalled the man saying. “Know this,” Pence said, addressing veterans who were listening. “We’re with you. You do not carry that burden alone.” Earlier in the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, with the assistance of a soldier, Pence somberly laid a decorated wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. But Pence’s commemoration of Veterans Day began even earlier on Saturday.
As the sun rose over the National Mall, the vice president and his wife, second lady Karen Pence soaked rags in buckets of soapy water and helped hand-wash the dark, reflective surface of the Vietnam Memorial. He said the cleaning was a “moving start to Veterans Day.””
While partaking in the cleaning all the officials from the administration had the opportunity to contribute to various different discussions and activities. Pence had the chance to talk with Park Ranger James Pierce who was a veteran in Afghanistan who had served in the National Guard for several years.
Offerings were made and individuals were encouraged to leave stencils of the 58,286 names of veterans and soldiers who had died or were missing in action. While doing so Pence spoke of his interactions with veterans during his time of service as a politician.
Pence spoke about meeting wheelchair-bound veterans during an Honor Flight near the national mall. These are trips that bring World War II veterans all across the country. Something that Pence has been known to do from time to time.
“Talking to the volunteers after Pence left, Pierce called being in the Park Service his dream job. After multiple reconstructive surgeries, Pierce interned with the Park Service through Operation Guardian, before being offered a full-time job.
“This is pretty cool,” Pierce said of Pence’s visit. “The vice president comes out and washes the wall.” He told the volunteers about meeting a wheel chair-bound veteran who came to the National Mall through an Honor Flight, trips that bring veterans from around the country to the war memorials. After Pierce shared his history with the veteran, the man stood up and saluted him. The woman with the veteran, in tears, told Pierce that was the first time he’d stood and saluted in four years. He died soon after the trip, Pierce said.
“You never know what impression you have,” Pierce told the group. “You volunteer for the men and women who laid down their lives for our great country.” Before Pence left to get ready for his Arlington National Cemetery visit, he posed for a group photo at the center of the monument. “When the American flag waves …” NewDay CEO Tom Lynch said, “We wave with it!” the group shouted back.”
Share if you agree the mainstream liberal media is not reporting on this amazing and heartfelt story because they don’t want the world to know how generous and America loving Vice President Pence really is on the inside