Trump, Pence miss Veterans Day observance at Arlington Cemetery


President Trump is spending Monday at the White House and had no plans to visit Arlington National Cemetery in northern Virginia as America observes the Veterans Day holiday.

The White House announced a so-called travel lid at 10 a.m. ET, meaning that the president is not expected to hold any public events or leave the executive mansion.

Trump returned to Washington on Sunday evening after a weekend in France, where he attended events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. The president paid tribute earlier in the day to U.S. and allied soldiers killed in the so-called “war to end all wars.”

“We are gathered together at this hallowed resting place to pay tribute to the brave Americans who gave their last breath in that mighty struggle,” Trump said at the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial in the suburbs of Paris, where more than 1,500 Americans who died in the war are buried.

“It is our duty to preserve the civilization they defended and to protect the peace they so nobly gave their lives to secure one century ago,” he said after spending a moment, standing alone amid the cemetery’s white crosses, holding a black umbrella.

On Saturday, Trump was criticized for failing to visit a second American cemetery about 60 miles outside of Paris because bad weather grounded the helicopter he planned to take. A handful of senior administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, went in the president’s place.

Vice President Mike Pence did not attend Sunday’s Veterans Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery, where Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie represented the administration. Wilkie made brief remarks and laid a wreath at the Arlington’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, and Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker were among the other Cabinet officials in attendance.

Pence departed Washington late Sunday to travel to Japan, where he will discuss North Korea, China, trade and other issues with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. During a stopover in Alaska, Pence gave remarks to soldiers and airmen at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

“You are the vanguard, on the edge of the Pacific, standing watch every day, guarding over the American people,” Pence said.

The Veterans Day observance has been held at Arlington every year since 1954 when the holiday’s name was formally changed from Armistice Day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Source Fox Politics

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