Kamala Harris pays tribute to fallen soldiers after backlash over Memorial Day tweet

Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks to the National League of Cities via video conference Monday, March 8, 2021, from the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. |

Vice President Kamala Harris paid tribute to fallen members of the U.S. Armed Forces one day after she faced criticism from numerous people for referring to Memorial Day as a long three-day weekend without mentioning the significance of the national holiday.

“Throughout our history, our service men and women have risked everything to defend our freedoms and our country. As we prepare to honor them on Memorial Day, we remember their service and their sacrifice,” Harris tweeted Sunday.

On Saturday, her tweet, along with a photo of herself smiling, read, “Enjoy the long weekend.”

Observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is a federal holiday in memory of those who have died while serving in the U.S. military.

Suggesting Harris was missing a significant detail in her tweet, Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican from New York who's running for governor of that state, wrote on Twitter, “… and pay tribute to the courageous men and women of our nation’s military who sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedoms and liberties.”

Paul Szoldra, the editor of the military news site Task & Purpose, called the vice president’s tweet a “real misfire.”

“It is a long weekend. It’s also Memorial Day weekend, which means far more than our government officials should acknowledge: a time to remember and honor the millions of Americans who lost their lives in our nation’s defense,” Szoldra tweeted.

“Don’t forget why we have a long weekend,” wrote one Tony Lederer who included a picture of the Vietnam Memorial.

Last month, Harris was criticized by Republican lawmakers for refusing to go to the southern border amid the immigration crisis that continues to overwhelm Border Patrol agents who apprehended 178,622 people crossing the border in April. Instead, Harris decided to speak with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to discuss a tree-planting proposal in Central America in an attempt to provide more jobs and reduce migration.

This proposal didn’t address the influx of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine trafficked into the U.S. by drug cartels and illegal border crossings by people from China and other nations.

An official with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection told members of Congress this month that fentanyl seizures at the U.S.-Mexico border have increased by 308%.

Troy Miller, the senior official performing the duties of commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, appeared before the House Appropriations Committee’s Homeland Security Subcommittee on May 19 to discuss the continued surge in illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border and the resources that CBP needs to respond to the situation and carry out its duties effectively.

“Our fentanyl seizures are up 308% in fiscal year ‘21,” Miller said. He also noted that heroin seizures have increased by 14%, cocaine seizures have increased by 100%, and methamphetamine seizures have increased by 20% in the same period.

At least 46% of Americans believe the situation at the U.S. border has worsened compared with what it was under former President Donald Trump about two years ago, according to a recent Fox News poll, which revealed that only 15% of Americans think otherwise.

Harris has neither visited the border region nor held a news conference about her border-related duties since she took on a special border assignment from Biden on March 24.

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