The veterans group American Veterans on Monday called on the White House “to show McCain proper respect.” The group called the President’s “two-sentence tweet” of well-wishes to McCain’s family “outrageous” and said the White House had shown “blatant disrespect” toward McCain “by lowering flags for not one second more than the bare minimum required by law, despite a long-standing tradition of lowering flags until the funeral [of the deceased].”
Read the group’s full statement below:
AMVETS National Headquarters, August 27, 2018 – American Veterans (AMVETS) is deeply disappointed in the lack of traditional and appropriate respect in the White House’s reaction to the death of U.S. Senator John S. McCain III, the retired Navy captain and former prisoner of the Vietnam war, who gave 60 years of honorable service to his country.
Traditionally, the death of a sitting United States senator would be met with a presidential proclamation and flags flying at half-staff throughout the country until the funeral of the deceased. This follows national tradition, as shown after the deaths of Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd. But John McCain was not just a sitting senator. He was a war hero, twice a presidential contender, and a national treasure who devoted his entire adult life to protecting and improving the American way of life.
“It’s outrageous that the White House would mark American hero John McCain’s death with a two-sentence tweet, making no mention of his heroic and inspiring life,” said AMVETS National Executive Director Joe Chenelly. “And by lowering flags for not one second more than the bare minimum required by law, despite a long-standing tradition of lowering flags until the funeral, the White House is openly showcasing its blatant disrespect for Senator McCain’s many decades of service and sacrifice to our country as well as the service of all his fellow veterans.”
AMVETS is calling on the White House to show appropriate respect for the passing of Sen. McCain, and absent that, AMVETS is calling on state and territory governors nationwide to issue proclamations honoring the life and service of Sen. McCain and to lower flags for an appropriate length of time.
AMVETS also supports a bipartisan proposal to rename the Russell Senate Office Building in honor of Senator McCain.