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Obama's Veterans Day Non-Salute (Photo) - Urban Legends

Obama's Veterans Day (or Memorial Day, or Ft. Hood) Non-Salute


Netlore Archive: Viral image allegedly shows President Obama neglecting to salute the flag (or national anthem) at the 2009 Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington Cemetery (or, in another version, at Ft. Hood).

Description: Viral image / Hoax
Circulating since: Nov. 2009
Status: Authentic image / False description (see details below)

2009 example:
Email contributed by K.D., Nov. 16, 2009:

Subject: Picture from last week's Veterans Day Ceremony

Check out this latest picture from Veterans Day Ceremony, 11/11/09, Arlington National Cemetery. It may be the National Anthem or the Flag being presented, but EVERYBODY in the picture is either saluting or has his hand over the HEART ... except ONE.

You form your own opinion.

2010 example:
Email contributed by an AOL user, Aug. 23, 2010:

Subject: Fwd: The Crotch Salute Returns

lets vote him out
In GOD We Trust

At the Ft. Hood Memorial Service...
The Crotch Salute Returns

I am sorry folks, but is this the MAGGOT that was elected President of our country? You know, the United States of America . I do believe that saluting the flag goes with that, as does respecting and honoring the service members who have died.

Does this pompous ass believe he is above that gesture? He can shower us all with flowery words and dazzle us with his B.S., but actions speak louder.

This sucks!
Now tell me our Muslim President isn't an anti-American!

EVERYONE needs to see this Pix!

Analysis: The photo above is authentic, but it's being circulated under false pretenses. None of the accusatory statements accompanying it are true.

First off, while the photo was indeed taken at Arlington Cemetery on the same platform where the Veterans Day ceremony is traditionally held, it wasn't taken on Veterans Day 2009 (and it certainly wasn't taken at Ft. Hood, Texas as later variants of this hoax claim).

One reason we know it wasn't taken on Veterans Day 2009 is that Obama is wearing a red tie in the photo. Photographs of the actual event show that he wore a blue tie and an overcoat during the November 11 ceremonies:

Photo #1 (Veterans Day 2009)
Photo #2 (Veterans Day 2009)
Photo #3 (Veterans Day 2009)

Secondly, the red tie and other incidentals enable us to pin down when the photo actually was taken, namely during the 2009 Memorial Day ceremony on May 25. Other photos taken the same day confirm not only that Obama was wearing a red tie, but also that he did, in fact, salute at appropriate moments:

Photo #4 (Memorial Day 2009)
Photo #5 (Memorial Day 2009)

And, lastly, there's a perfectly good reason why President Obama wasn't saluting when the viral photo was taken. C-Span video footage reveals that the moment in question occurred just after Obama was introduced and the band began playing "Hail to the Chief." If he had saluted, he would have been saluting himself.

See also:

Rumor: Obama 'Refuses' to Salute the Flag
2008 email rumor with accompanying photo alleges that Barack Obama refused to salute the American flag, either during the playing of the national anthem or while saying the Pledge of Allegiance during a political function.

Obama (Supposedly) Explains Why He (Supposedly) Refuses to Salute the Flag
Circulating via email, statements purportedly made on Meet the Press by Barack Obama explaining why he doesn't wear a flag pin on his lapel or salute the flag during the national anthem.

Barack and Michelle Obama's Left-Handed Flag Salute
Viral image appears to show Barack and Michelle Obama saluting the flag by placing their left hands (instead of their right) over their hearts.

Sources and further reading:

At Arlington, Obama Pays Tribute to Veterans
Washington Post, 11 November 2009

Obama Veterans Day Remarks at Arlington
(Transcript) RealClearPolitics.com, 11 November 2009

Video: 2009 Veterans Day Ceremony
C-Span, 11 November 2009

Video: 2009 Memorial Day Observance
C-Span, 25 May 2009

Last updated: 05/22/12

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