President Barack Obama on Monday heralded one of the oldest living veterans in America, even talking about his trip to the nation’s capital this year as part of the Honor Flight program.
Did You Catch the Ironic Part in Obamas Veterans Day Speech?
President Barack Obama placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
That would be the same Honor Flight program that brought veterans to Washington, D.C., last month who entered the World War II Memorial in defiance of the government shutdown.
Barricades were placed around the World War II Memorial and other monuments on the National Mall to keep visitors out during the shutdown. Some veterans, aided by members of Congress, ignored the barricades and went to visit the memorial anyway.
Richard Overton, 107, of Austin, Texas, was not part of the group that visited in October, but went with a group of veterans in May. It was nevertheless veterans from Honor Flight who were initially barred from seeing the open-air monuments in Washington.
“This is the life of one American veteran living proud and strong in the land he helped keep free. Earlier this year, the folks at Honor Flight Austin brought Richard to Washington, D.C., for the first time and he and his fellow veterans paid their respects at the World War II Memorial,” Obama said during a Veterans Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Then they visited the memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. and as Richard sat in a wheelchair beneath that great marble statute, he wept, and the crowd that gathered around him wept too to see one of the oldest living veterans of World War II bear witness to a day, to the progress of a nation he thought might never come. Richard Overton, this American veteran, is 107 years old,” Obama continued. “We are honored that he is here with us today.”
Obama talked of Overton being present during key moments in the war.
"He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still smoldering,” Obama said. “He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said ‘I only got out of there by the grace of God.’”
“When the war ended, Richard headed home to Texas to a nation bitterly divided by race, and his service on the battlefield was not always matched by the respect that he deserved at home. But this veteran held his head high,” Obama continued. “He carried on and lived his life with dignity and built his wife a house with his own two hands. He went back to work in the furniture business. In time, he served as a courier in the Texas state Capitol where he worked for four governors and made more friends than most of us do in a lifetime. And today Richard still lives in the house that he built all those years ago, rakes his own lawn, and every Sunday, he hops in his 1971 Ford truck and drives one of the nice ladies in his neighborhood to church.”
By Fred Lucas http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/11/did-you-catch-the-ironic-part-in-obamas-veterans-day-speech/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=ShareButtons