Trump blasted for saluting during national anthem, Angry Internet says 'you embarrass us in new ways every day'
'Can someone explain Trump that as a civilian, non-veteran, he should have his hand over his heart during the national anthem?'
President Donald Trump was dragged on social media on Friday night, July 3, after he was pictured saluting with his right hand over his right eyebrow as the star-spangled banner played out. Many people pointed out that the president should have put his right hand over his chest during the national anthem like First Lady Melania was doing standing right beside him. The incident occurred as the president and the first lady traveled to South Dakota ahead of the Fourth of July celebrations.
The first couple, before their speeches and firework displays, took to the outdoor stage at Mount Rushmore for the national anthem during which the president was spotted in a salute. Many social media users noted the blunder and slammed Trump for saluting during the anthem with political journalist Andrew Feinberg tweeting: "Can someone explain to @realDonaldTrump that as a civilian, non-veteran, he should have his hand over his heart during the national anthem?”
Another Twitter user wrote: "I’ve never served but I have literally asked every vet and active solider I run into, and they all agree he should not be saluting.” A third wrote: "Trump embarrasses us in new ways every day."
According to the country's Flag Code, persons present during the playing of the national anthem are required to stand and face the flag, if there is one, while civilians should stand to attention with their right hand over heart, and military personnel in uniform and veterans are required to salute throughout. There are, however, no punishments for breaching the code.
The South Dakota event reportedly drew a crowd of 7,500 people, packed into an outdoor amphitheater. Before the Fevent, Mount Rushmore had not hosted a fireworks spectacle since 2009 because of environmental concerns. The fireworks during the event, however, were approved by Trump. The president, during the event, also slammed the ongoing anti-racism protests: "As we meet here tonight there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for. Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children."
"Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity, so that we can no longer understand ourselves or America's destiny. "They would tear down the beliefs, culture and identity that have made America the most vibrant and tolerant society in the history of the Earth. "Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers, and to our freedom," he added.
Trump was again slammed by social media users a day later, on July 4, after he made an apparent gaffe during his address on the United States' 244th Independence Day celebrations. It appeared that the president mixed up the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. In a video clip of Trump's speech, which has been widely circulated on Twitter, he said: "In the fields and jungles of Vietnam, they delivered a swift and swipian [sic] — you know that sweeping — it was swift and it was sweeping like nobody’s ever seen happen — a victory in Operation Desert Storm, a lot of you were involved in that. A lot of you were involved.”
While the Vietnam War occurred between 1955 and 1975, Operation Desert Storm took place during the First Gulf War from 1990 to 1991. Operation Desert Storm, a codename for the combat phase, was a military operation to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which Iraq had invaded and annexed months earlier.
You can watch Trump's salute video here.