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This year, for the first time since its inception in 1989, the Armed Forces Farewell event will reportedly not be held for an outgoing president.
“The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Donald Trump. … Two senior defense officials confirmed … Thursday that no military farewell is being planned for the commander in chief,” Defense One reported Thursday.
No reason was specified for the break in tradition. It’s also not clear whether the event was canceled by military brass or by the president himself. The latter scenario seems unlikely given his love for the military.
What’s known is that the president plans to hold his own “farewell” event on the morning of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“Trump, who had already said he will not attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, is planning a ceremonial farewell at Joint Base Andrews, the base outside Washington where Air Force One is headquartered,” Reuters confirmed Friday, citing two sources.
“Trump will then fly on to Palm Beach, Florida, to begin his post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago club, the sources told Reuters. He is likely to be in Florida by the time Biden is inaugurated at midday on Wednesday.”
The president’s event at Joint Base Andrews may include a 21-gun salute.
Because of the president’s plan to fly out of Washington, D.C., before Biden is officially inaugurated, it’s expected that, despite tradition, he and first lady Melania Trump will skip out on hosting the Bidens for coffee.
Barack and Michelle Obama have coffee with Donald and Melania Trump as one of their final acts in the White House. https://t.co/ixCmz8rmK9 pic.twitter.com/O3UwxSncxG
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 20, 2017
Of course, there’s a chance Trump may meet with Biden before Inauguration Day, but that seems unlikely as well.
“Some advisers have been urging the president to host Biden for a White House meeting ahead of Inauguration Day, but there has been no sign Trump is willing to do that, an administration official said,” Reuters noted.
In fact, according to reports, the president is allegedly leaving D.C. early specifically to avoid having to speak with Biden.
“President Donald Trump wants to leave Washington, DC, before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration because he doesn’t want to go out as an ex-president or ask to borrow the plane he usually used as Air Force One,” according to Business Insider.
If he were to wait until after Biden’s inauguration, he’d have to ask permission to use Air Force One — and this apparently is a big no-no for him.
Dovetailing back to the Armed Forces Farewell event, it’s a tradition that began with former President Ronald Reagan.
“The first Armed Forces Farewell hosted by the Joint Chiefs chairman and defense secretary occured [SIC] in 1989. Ronald Reagan turned the ceremony at Camp Springs, Maryland, into a celebration of the younger men and women in uniform he faced — while also touting his administration’s successes,” according to Defense One.
“Basking in the post-Cold War peace, Reagan noted that America had at last shed its post-Vietnam feelings about the military. ‘The luster has been restored to the reputation of our fighting forces after a time during which it was shamefully fashionable to deride or even condemn service such as yours. Those days will never come again.'”
Watch the event below:
The event was held again in 1993 by George H.W. Bush, who much like Trump also lost re-election, and then in 2001 by Bill Clinton, in 2009 by George W. Bush and in 2017 by Barack Hussein Obama.
Despite the Armed Forces Farewell event reportedly being cancelled this year, it’s hard to deny Trump’s positive influence on America’s military.
Just this week the Trump administration reportedly reached another milestone in its quest to reduce the number of troops who’re stationed in Afghanistan.
“Today, U.S. force levels in Afghanistan have reached 2,500. Directed by President Trump, and as I announced on November 17, this drawdown brings U.S. forces in the country to their lowest levels since 2001,” acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller announced Friday.
“Today, the United States is closer than ever to ending nearly two decades of war and welcoming in an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process to achieve a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.” he added.
Please read the Statement by Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Force Levels in Afghanistan https://t.co/gIlnpLdTMq
— U.S. Embassy Kabul (@USEmbassyKabul) January 15, 2021
The president released a statement of his own a day earlier.
“United States military troops in Afghanistan are at a 19-year low. Likewise, Iraq and Syria are also at the lowest point in many years. I will always be committed to stopping the endless wars,” he said Thursday.
“It has been a great honor to rebuild our military and support our brave men and women in uniform. $2.5 trillion invested, including in beautiful new equipment — all made in the U.S.A.”
Trump fixed the VA after Obama-Biden left it in shambles/scandal
Trump is trying to end forever wars. Biden voted for Iraq War & has a 50 yr record supporting unnecessary wars
Trump properly funded our military after Obama-Biden decimated it
Who really disrespects our troops?
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 6, 2020
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