I thought for sure Memorial Day would be a busy day for the campaign emails. Imagine my surprise when only 8 campaigns reached out to me, each with only 1 email.
Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives for the country. Many of the candidates clearly did not believe it was appropriate to use the dead for campaign purposes (or perhaps as a less-charitable explanation, their staff had the holiday off and no emails queued).
For those 8 who did reach out, they all did so tactfully. Not one of them asked for campaign donations, even with the “so crucial!” May deadline right around the corner, and they all signed with at least their names.
In the order they hit my inbox, here are the messages sent for Memorial Day:
- Elizabeth Warren shared a story about how her family would respond whenever her brothers wrote home from being deployed overseas. She expressed gratitude for her brothers’ safety and for the sacrifices of those who did not make it home.
We’re grateful. And here’s part of how we show it: Doing everything we can to make sure the decisions made in Washington are in the best interest of our service members, their families, and our national security. Taking care of our veterans when they come home. And fighting to bring these forever wars to a close.
No matter how you honor Memorial Day, I hope you have a meaningful day.
- Michael Bennet offered his thanks to those who served and his thoughts with those who gave everything to our country and the Gold Star families, friends, and loved ones struggling with their loss. His email did not have any campaign branding other than the standard disclaimer at the bottom.
Each Memorial Day, we take time to honor those who gave what Abraham Lincoln called their last full measure of devotion to our great country.
The men and women who have lost their lives in service to our nation embody the best of America.
- Amy Klobuchar is at Fort Snelling in Minnesota to join military leaders, veterans, and Gold Star families to remember those who laid down their lives for our country.
We can never truly repay our debt to those brave servicemembers we honor today, but we owe it to their families to uphold their memory with dignity and to work together to become a country that lives up to our founding ideals.
I hope you will join me in honoring their sacrifice.
- Joe Biden and his family commented on the incredible men and women who serve the nation and the families who stand beside them that they have met and been inspired by over the years. They offer some words to the Gold Star families and those left behind.
You all are the heart, soul, and spine of this nation. The Bidens stand by you today, tomorrow, and always.
- Kirsten Gillibrand notes that while we spend time with our family and friends, we should pause to remember and honor the women and men in uniform who gave their lives.
We owe those service members, and their families, a debt of gratitude we can never repay.
- Andrew Yang took a different approach, wishing everyone a wonderful day, talking about the history of the holiday, and asking a member of his staff who is a veteran what he would ask of Americans. In addition to talking about the answer, Yang also discussed how he met with a veterans’ organization to learn about their experiences and how we will do better.
That is, we don’t believe in much these days beyond our military. But the military exists to defend our society itself.
Thus, we owe it to our veterans to take our citizenship seriously enough that it warrants their sacrifices.
- Steve Bullock wished everyone a happy Memorial Day and hoped for sunny skies. He discussed those fallen and talked about the flags of Montana being half-staff for the morning in honor of those, and then raised to full-staff to honor the living heroes and recognize the resilience of our nation.
We can never repay them for the sacrifice they made, but we can keep them in our hearts and minds as we go forward to serve our country, and fight for the same freedoms and opportunity that they lost their lives to protect.
- Tim Ryan was the last to reach out on Memorial Day, and he asked for us to take a few quiet moments with him to reflect on the sacrifices so many have made to defend and preserve our freedom. In addition, Ryan did what none of the others did: he suggested donations could be made to Project Welcome Home Troops, which helps veterans and service members address chronic and traumatic stress.
That’s something we don’t do enough — take a quiet moment to be grateful, to heal and to reflect.
It’s days like today that I’m reminded that there’s more that unites us than divides us. It’s sometimes hard to see, but it’s true. And, it’s a big part of the reason I’m running for president.
Overall, I was most impressed by Ryan offering up a worthy cause for donations. I was least impressed by Yang’s lengthy essay that felt the most stumpy to me out of all of these emails. One thing is for sure, though: all of these candidates recognized the gravitas of the day and refrained from their desperate pleas for money.