Edwards backs away from Memorial Day protests

The newest statement from Edwards:

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards released the following statement today commemorating Memorial Day.

“Today, Elizabeth and I offer up our prayers in memory of all those who have fallen for America, and our hearts go out to their families. We honor all the brave men and women in uniform who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Because of their courage, our country is safer. Because of their dedication to the causes of liberty and justice, our country remains the land of the free. And because of their sacrifice, we are a stronger nation and a stronger people. We honor these heroes especially on this day, but every day we should remember the sacrifice they made to protect our freedom.”

Whatever happened to “It’s patriotic to protest the war on Memorial Day!”?

Edwards was singing a different tune earlier this week:

A Web site paid for by the Edwards campaign, under the title, “Reclaiming Patriotism,” lists “10 Things You Can Do Over Memorial Weekend to Support the Troops and End the War.” Among those are a suggestion to make signs that say “Support the Troops – End the War,” and to bring them to Memorial Day parades and events.

Local veterans say the Edwards campaign is politicizing what’s meant to be a day of remembrance.

Funny, I couldn’t find a link to that site from the Edwards campaign anymore.

Some people weren’t so supportive:

“It’s totally inappropriate,” said Al Singerman of Peekskill, president of Westchester Chapter 49 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. “Memorial Day is not a day that should be politicized. It’s not a day that is for or against war. It’s a day when the sacrifice of all Americans, since the birth of this country, is recognized.”

“All lI can say to these protesters is knock it off,” said 90-year-old Joe Nader of Yonkers, who served with the U.S. Army in Libya and Italy during World War II and later helped train troops for the Korean War. “Do all your protesting after our guys come home.”

Memorial Day was not founded this year to be a platform for Iraq war protests. It was founded to remember those who fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country in the past, present, and future. Edwards’ attempt to politicize the day seems to have backfired.