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Inside the Beltway: Trump urges media to honor Memorial Day prayer

In his Memorial Day message, President Trump is mindful that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the nation’s entry into World War I — the “Great War” which mobilized 4.7 million Americans, more than 25 percent of the American male population between the ages of 18 and 31 at the time.

Mr. Trump also notes that over one million warriors who stepped up to defend the country in various wars paid the ultimate price.

“Memorial Day is our nation’s solemn reminder that freedom is never free. It is a moment of collective reflection on the noble sacrifices of those who gave the last measure of devotion in service of our ideals and in the defense of our nation. We remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights,” Mr. Trump says in his proclamation observing the day.

Like other presidents before him, he has also set Monday as a day of prayer for permanent peace.

“I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance. I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.”

Faith has been a factor in Mr. Trump’s presidency, incidentally. Evangelist Franklin Graham himself cited the influence of prayer in the 2016 election.

“Did God show up? In watching the news after the election, the secular media keep asking how did this happen? What went wrong? How did we miss this? Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor,” Mr. Graham wrote in a Facebook post after final results arrived. “Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up.”

TWO STARTLING ADMISSIONS

Stray quotes can be telling from those who may now be wondering about the state of both the press and the Democratic Party.

“On occasion, more than the media would probably like to admit, we have not told the story of conservative Americans — disenfranchised Americans — who believe that they are losing their country. The story we have largely been telling is a story that is more or less in step with the arc of history as defined by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” CNN media analyst Dylan Byers said during a recent appearance on his own network.

And what about the Democrats, currently in a new state of “resistance” and pushback?

“So when do Democrats actually win something? Powered by seething anti-Trump sentiment, the Democratic Party keeps turning in strong performances in special elections in Republican-friendly districts. But they still haven’t won any of those races,” noted Gabriel Debenedetti, Politico’s election analyst following the victory of Republican Greg Gianforte in a special election for the U.S. House seat in Montana.

REAGAN ON MEMORIAL DAY, 1982

“I have no illusions about what little I can add now to the silent testimony of those who gave their lives willingly for their country. Words are even more feeble on this Memorial Day, for the sight before us is that of a strong and good nation that stands in silence and remembers those who were loved and who, in return, loved their countrymen enough to die for them,” President Reagan said during an address at Arlington National Cemetery that year.

“Yet, we must try to honor them — not for their sakes alone, but for our own. And if words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and to final sacrifice,” he continued.

“Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we — in a less final, less heroic way — be willing to give of ourselves,” Reagan advised.

“It is this, beyond the controversy and the congressional debate, beyond the blizzard of budget numbers and the complexity of modern weapons systems, that motivates us in our search for security and peace. War will not come again, other young men will not have to die, if we will speak honestly of the dangers that confront us and remain strong enough to meet those dangers.”

ENOUGH WITH THE COLLUSION ALREADY

The Republican National Committee has been diligent in tracking evidence that there was no evidence of collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Among those who have said, on the record, that there was no collusion: Former acting CIA director Michael J. Morell, Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Joe Manchin and Chris Coons, plus Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters — and both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

“There is no evidence of collusion,” says Mike Reed, the Republican committee’s research director. “The continued drip of unsubstantiated leaks does nothing but further endanger intelligence sharing and undermines what matters most — working to fix the real issues facing this country.”

Americans appear to agree. A new Harvard/Harris Poll survey finds that 54 percent of voters said they have not seen evidence to suggest Trump officials “conspired with Moscow.”

POLL DU JOUR

98 percent of Republican military veterans approve of President Trump; 47 percent of independent vets and 10 percent of Democratic vets agree.

92 percent of all vets are male, 8 percent are female.

54 percent of all vets approve of Mr. Trump.

49 percent of vets are independent or unaffiliated; 29 percent are Republicans, 20 percent are Democrats.

Source: A Pew Research Center American Trends Panel poll of 4,168 U.S. adults conducted April 4-18 and released Friday.

• Murmurs and asides to jharper@washingtontimes.com


Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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