President Donald Trump drew severe criticism over the weekend for missing a ceremony in Paris to honor soldiers who died during World War I due to rain.

The White House made the announcement of Trump’s decision on Saturday, one day before Armistice Day, or Veteran’s Day. Other world leaders who were present at the memorial — which was held at the Aisne-Marne American cemetery near Paris — included French President Emmanuel MacronGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a former Marine general, led the U.S. delegation at the ceremony alongside Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford. 

Macron also seemed to give a subtle rebuke to Trump in a speech he gave at the ceremony in which he described the difference between patriotism and nationalism.


“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism, nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” Macron said. “In saying ‘our interests first and who care about the others,’ we erase what a nation has that’s most precious, what makes it live, what is most important: its moral values.”

Trump slammed the 40-year-old French president on Twitter for his “very insulting” remarks in support of greater integration among the military in Europe.

People who blasted Trump for skipping the memorial included former Barack Obama administration official Ben Rhodes and The Atlantic writer David Frum, a conservative Trump critic and former speechwriter for George W. Bush. 


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