As you probably know, the reason why you get to enjoy a long weekend towards the end of May every year is a solemn one. While Memorial Day comes every year with its slew of barbecues and summery celebrations, the holiday exists not to welcome the warm weather, but to honor the members of the armed forces who lost their lives defending the United States. Donald Trump's Memorial Day tweet, however, spends less time paying tribute to fallen service members, and more time talking up his own achievements, according to the Huffington Post.
"Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!"
The president's first tweet on Memorial Day was a pre-shot video that stayed more on message, remembering his trip to Arlington Cemetery and honoring a young boy who had lost his father, a soldier who was killed in 2011, according to The Hill. The tweet about the economy, however, seems to have been the first one that the president composed himself mentioning the holiday.
Since writing that tweet, then, the president has gone off topic entirely, tweeting multiple times about a Fox News discussion of what he's been calling " — or, the false claim that the Obama administration illegally placed a spy into the Trump campaign. These tweets, however, were evidently not meant to have anything to do with the holiday. The first one, on the other hand, begins as though it's going to be a typical message honoring "those who died for our great country" and then quickly turns to celebrating not the troops, but the president.
The way he turned the focus of the holiday onto himself did not go unnoticed by Trump's critics on Twitter, according to Business Insider.
"If you happen to have encountered this tweet, as I did--put it out of mind," wrote Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. "There are so many appropriate expressions of respect and appreciation on this Memorial Day that deserve your attention, and that reflect well on the country. Attend to them. Ignore Trump."
"Many people question this president, but it’s no small achievement to write the grossest, most inappropriate, most self-flattering Memorial Day message in the history of the US presidency," wrote The Atlantic editor David Frum.
And while the economic metrics that Trump cites are ones that he's brought up frequently, the New York Post wrote, they're not actually things that he can take full credit for. The unemployment rates for both blacks and Latinos have been on the decline for several years now, beginning in the first half of the Obama administration. The AP also noted that while Trump appears to love boasting about the unemployment rates among multiple groups as his own achievement now, this wasn't always the case. During the campaign he had a habit of claiming that there were flaws in the way that the unemployment rate is measured, and thus Obama couldn't legitimately claim to have lowered it. These claims, the AP wrote in January, have now apparently been forgotten.
According to CNN, Trump's Memorial Day also included a visit to Arlington Cemetery, where he gave a speech that fit more into the traditional spirit of the holiday.
"They marched into hell so that America could know the blessings of peace. They died so that freedom could live," the president said, according to CNN. This time, he left what he perceives as his own achievements out of it.