President Donald Trump’s recent decision to cancel a trip to a First World War military cemetery in France where 2,288 American troops, mostly Marines, are buried, because of rain, does not sit well with me or I suspect, many Americans.
He’s rightly been slammed as “weak” and “pathetic” for failing to make the one-hour drive to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery during the 100th Armistice anniversary ceremonies.
These U.S. soldiers died in the mud of the Battle of Belleau Wood. Winston Churchill’s grandson, Nicholas Soame, British MP, condemned Trump for “failing to defy a bit of poor weather to pay his respects to the fallen.”
He said: “They died with their face to the foe and that pathetic, inadequate Donald Trump couldn’t even defy the weather to pay his respects to The Fallen.”
I too am greatly ashamed of our president’s conduct. My father served in the U.S. Army in WWI and was wounded in action on Sept. 27, 1918 in a battle on the Hindenburg Line. He did not have the luxury of opting out due to inclement weather.
But perhaps Donald’s Vietnam War era “foot spur,” or a new weather-induced “bad hair day,” was acting up again.
See the positives that took place in Beaufort County polling places
After seeing your headline at the top of Page 3A Thursday (“Voting machines, long lines delay Beaufort County tallies”), I feel I must respond.
First, there’s no mention of the outstanding group of poll workers (usually six per precinct) who arrived at 6 a.m. to prepare to open the polls at 7 a.m., then stayed until the polls closed at 7 p.m., leaving usually by 8 p.m.
Secondly, long lines symbolize lots of Americans exercising their privilege of voting. That’s a very great thing.
And lastly, your headline is so negative. Those machines are very expensive. Beaufort County has as many as we can afford. In a normal election, we have plenty. Unfortunately (!), that’s because not enough people come out to vote. That’s the negative – not the good news that so many people did the right thing in coming out to vote.
You quote Marie Smalls, the county elections director, at midnight, saying they were doing the best they could. I don’t know a more conscientious person than Mrs. Smalls. Almost 60 percent of registered voters voted. And the delay you mention was 30 minutes.
Why can’t you print the positive details of every election: how many workers it takes; how many hours go into convincing people to work; how many hours go into programming the machines for each precinct; how safe our elections are; how helpful and nice the poll workers are; that each worker must attend a two-hour session to be trained; and that on Friday the elections board would spend another five hours certifying the election, etc.?
It’s easy to go negative. It’s time to be positive. Applaud these poll workers and the voters.
Hilton Head Island