President Obama offended France along with Britain and many Americans by chewing gum during the 70th anniversary D-Day ceremony last Friday, which honored those who lost their lives in Normandy. Obama was caught on camera chewing derogatorily while Queen Elizabeth II was introduced to the attendees.
Soon after Obama’s gum chewing was posted online, negative responses erupted from French viewers on Twitter, who were extremely upset about the president’s lack of class during the solemn remembrance of the soldiers who fought diligently for France’s freedom from Germany. The tweets were translated and included statements such as “..lack of respect; it’s revolting,” “…Obama and his chewing gum disgust me,” and other comments questioning why Obama’s mother never taught him not to chew gum when he is on television.
The Washington Post and American Thinker suggested that Obama’s obsessive gum chewing could have been the result of him resisting a craving to smoke cigarettes and that he should be given a reprieve for masticating Nicorette instead of lighting up. Regardless of the reason Obama was chewing gum, he should not have chosen to do so at such a delicate moment. Obama faced similar online attacks during Nelson Mandela’s funeral last December for his rampant gum chomping.
Unfortunately, the significance of paying tribute to fallen D-Day soldiers was diminished by the media when President Obama offended France by chewing gum at the D-Day ceremony.
Obama spoke at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach, the resting place where 9,387 servicemen were buried after D-Day, and enlightened listeners with a story about three men who fought in Normandy and put their lives on the line (along with thousands of other soldiers) for the success of the mission. These three soldiers – Wilson Colwell, Harry Kulkowitz, and Rock Merritt – are now in their nineties and made the trek all the way back to Normandy to remember those they fought alongside so long ago. The Allied forces from America, Canada, and Britain, as well as other Western military, launched invasions that liberated France from the German Nazis and left more than 425,000 men deceased, wounded or missing.
The president stated that the veterans’ presence truly humbled he and the other attendees and that their legacy was in good hands. He mentioned that France will not forget the debt owed to the American soldiers who gave their lives for their freedom. The president added on a personal note that he did not believe there was any time he missed his grandfather more than D-Day. President Obama later joined over 1,000 D-Day veterans at Ouistreham (also known as Sword Beach) to witness an amazing reenactment of the seaborne landings.
It seems evident that the president did his best to commemorate the fallen troops at the D-Day anniversary, but many viewers still do not see it that way. President Obama seriously offended France, America and Britain by chewing gum at the D-Day ceremony. Regardless of his intent, many feel that Obama needs to find an alternative to chewing gum at high-profile events to prevent disrespecting those around him, especially since he is our nation’s leader and supposed to be a role model to millions.
By Amy Nelson