Earlier this month, I referenced Barack Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in an Obamateurism a couple of weeks ago, but alert OOTD reader Ken K spotted one I missed in the same speech. The President spoke about the hardship of our men and women in the military who are now leaving the service but not finding jobs in the current economy. Unfortunately, Obama offered a reprise of one of his earliest gaffes on the national political stage, emphasis mine:
Our economy is making progress as we recover from the worst crisis in three generations, but far too many families are still struggling to find work or make the mortgage, pay for college, or, in some cases, even buy food. Our men and women in uniform have made us safer and more secure, and we were eternally grateful to them, but war and suffering and hardship still remain in too many corners of the globe. And a lot of those men and women who we celebrate on Veterans Day and Memorial Day come back and find that, when it comes to finding a job or getting the kind of care that they need, we’re not always there the way we need to be.
Almost four years ago, Obama offered this on the campaign trail as a presidential candidate:
On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today — our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.
One might have thought that three years in office would have taught Obama the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. On the latter, we celebrate our living veterans, but on Memorial Day, we remember those who died in the service of their country. The men and women we “celebrate” on Memorial Day didn’t come back to find jobs; they came back for their final resting place, if they came back at all. Obama’s last Memorial Day proclamation gets it right:
For over two centuries, brave men and women have laid down their lives in defense of our great Nation. These heroes have made the ultimate sacrifice so we may uphold the ideals we all cherish. On this Memorial Day, we honor the generations of Americans who have fought and died to defend our freedom.
Maybe the speechwriter who churned this out should sit down with Obama and carefully explain the differences between the two observances, because four years later, it’s clear that it isn’t getting through.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
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