America’s incoming leaders honored Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Wednesday, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence making a low-key visit to join Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at the National World War II Memorial in Washington.
McCain, one of the featured speakers at the event, noted that Pearl Harbor “changed the world” because it triggered the end to American isolationism.
Pence did not have a speaking role. In fact, he was not on the official program of dignitaries at the event.
Benny Johnson of the Independent Journal Review wrote that when he noticed Pence at the event, he asked a “top Pence official” why the vice president-elect had not publicized his visit.
“He wanted his presence to be a gesture of respect to the veterans in attendance,” Johnson wrote that the source told him.
“If the event was placed on the Vice President-elect’s official schedule, Secret Service would have had to lockdown the entire area, subjecting the veterans in attendance, some in wheelchairs, to metal detectors and other invasive security procedures,” Johnson further wrote.
Pence’s overriding goal was that Americans focus on the sacrifices made by America’s veterans, the Pence official told Johnson.
President-elect Donald Trump, meanwhile, posted his thoughts about Pearl Harbor on Facebook.
“We pause today to remember the 2,403 American heroes who selflessly gave their lives at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, on a date that will forever live in infamy. We also honor the 1,178 Americans who were wounded, and the countless others who instinctively did their duty, rushing to their posts in the midst of the chaos,” Trump wrote.
“Their shared sacrifice reminds us of the great costs paid by those who came before us to secure the liberties we enjoy, and inspires us to rise to meet the new challenges that stand before us today,” he added.
Trump also noted that despite changing times, there is an eternal truth recognized every time Americans remember Pearl Harbor.
“America’s enemies have changed over the past 75 years. But the fact remains, as President Reagan said when first proclaiming National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, ‘there can be no substitute for victory’ in the pursuit of peace. Today we are the bearers of the torch of freedom these brave Americans passed on to us,” he wrote.
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