Vice President Kamala Harris triggered a barrage of backlash Saturday after publishing a Memorial Day weekend message that lacked any mention of the meaning behind Memorial Day.
What is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is a federal holiday remembering Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in military service to the United States. The holiday is observed on the last Monday each May, and has been observed in some form or fashion since the mid-1800s.
Memorial Day is different from Veteran's Day in that the latter holiday honors all veterans, living or deceased, who honorably served in the armed forces.
What did Harris say?
Posting a picture of herself smiling, the vice president said, "Enjoy the long weekend."
There was no mention of Memorial Day or the reason why Americans annually get a "long weekend" before the start of summer.
Enjoy the long weekend. https://t.co/ilGOrod4AW— Vice President Kamala Harris (@Vice President Kamala Harris)1622315330.0
What was the reaction?
Critics were quick to remind Harris that Memorial Day is not about enjoying a "long weekend," but about remembering those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for American freedom.
- "It is Memorial Day weekend. This weekend is our time as a nation to honor our Fallen. It is our dedicated time to reflect on our war fighters, those who paid the ultimate price for our Freedom," Code of Vets, a veteran advocacy organization, told Harris.
- "It's just a 'long weekend' for this fraud. I have several dead buddies that disagree," Buzz Patterson, a Republican congressional candidate, said.
- "...and pay tribute to the courageous men and women of our nation's military who sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedoms and liberties," Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) corrected.
- "Real misfire here. It is a long weekend. It's also Memorial Day weekend, which means far more that our government officials should acknowledge: a time to remember and honor the millions of Americans who lost their lives in our nation's defense," Paul Szoldra, editor of military news website Task and Purpose, said.
- "As the proud daughter and granddaughter of 2 vets, I'm disgusted by Kamala's ignorance about Memorial Day. This clueless woman should never be one step away from the Presidency," Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said.
- "As the @VP enjoys a long weekend, maybe she could read a couple of books on the sacrifices made by those we honor with this holiday," former Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) said.
- "This is more than a 'long weekend' for the thousands of fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters who's loved ones will never return," Rep. Madison Cawthorn, said.
- "Harris, show some respect for the heroes who paid the ultimate price for our freedom," Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded.
- "America is honoring our fallen, Kamala is honoring herself," Kassy Dillon noted.
- "This is unreal. No regard or gratitude for the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation. Could you possibly be more obtuse, @VP?" Jessie Jane Duff said.
- "Care to mention WHY we're having a long weekend, Kamala?" Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said.
By Sunday morning, Harris had posted a more appropriate message.
"Throughout our history our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country. As we prepare to honor them on Memorial Day, we remember their service and their sacrifice," Harris tweeted.
Throughout our history our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country. As… https://t.co/24yc29a22Z— Vice President Kamala Harris (@Vice President Kamala Harris)1622372401.0