Dec. 16 (UPI) — President Donald Trump on Saturday made an unscheduled appearance at Arlington National Cemetery to observe wreaths laid to honor fallen military veterans.
For about 15 minutes, Trump walked around gravesites as volunteers in the “Wreaths Across America Day” placed holiday wreaths on headstones except for those bearing the Star of David. The tradition reportedly began in 1992.
“They’re doing a great job,” Trump said in reference to the volunteers, according to a pool report.
The president was accompanied by two military men in camouflage fatigues and guided by a woman. He wasn’t with advisers and staffers.
The Commander in Chief visited Section 60, where military personnel killed in the Global War on Terror since 2001 are interred.
Trump, wearing an overcoat and red and white striped tie in 53-degree, rainy weather, held a black umbrella.
The White House blamed rain for the president’s decision not to visit an Aisne Marne American Cemetery in France last month to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
The next day, the president and first lady attended the American Commemoration Ceremony at Suresnes American Cemetery hosted by the Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission.
In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Trump expressed regret for not visiting the Arlington cemetery during Veterans Day weekend. He said he was “extremely busy on calls for the country” instead of laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington.
In 2017, Trump was in Vietnam on Veterans Day and met with veterans there.
At Arlington National Cemetery, Trump told his guide that he was looking to expand the cemetery by acquiring land in the area.
More than 400,000 men and women are buried on the 624 acres.