Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Presidents don't always lay wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day

Presidents and Memorial Day

Is President Barack Obama the first president to not lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day? How much of a snub is this?

Some veterans groups are unhappy that President Obama chose to spend Memorial Day in Chicago, and many conservative media types have joined in.

But Obama is not alone in not making the Memorial Day ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery every year, and sending a proxy (in this case Vice President Joe Biden). Just in recent history:

• President Ronald Reagan missed four of the eight ceremonies in his presidency — while recovering after being shot, when he instead went to Camp David, when he was in Moscow and when he attended a summit in Virginia.

• President George H. W. Bush never attended a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington. He was in Maine for three years and Rome another year.

• In 2002, George W. Bush was in France on Memorial Day. In his place, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz placed a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

President Bill Clinton, who served in the eight years between the Bush terms, attended the Arlington ceremony in each of his years in the White House.

WebTV's day has passed

I noticed in the Reader's Exchange column in the Times that a person was offering a Web TV. What's a Web TV?

WebTV allowed people to use the Internet on their TV screen instead of a computer monitor. It consisted of an adapter to allow the Internet cable to be plugged into the TV, a keyboard and a Web browser.

It didn't give all the functions of a computer, but provided a lower-cost alternative.

WebTV launched in 1996 and was bought by Microsoft in 1997. It became profitable by 1998 and grew to 800,000 subscribers by 1999.

But customers dwindled as dial-up Internet service largely gave way to broadband. The service is no longer available for purchase, though Microsoft still supports the subscription service for existing customers.

Complaints about telemarketers

I keep getting junk unsolicited calls even though I have registered on the no-call list. To whom can I report these violations?

Once you register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, telemarketers have up to 31 days from the date you register to stop calling you.

So, go to You can file a complaint from that website.

Those who haven't registered may do so at that website or get further information about the service.

Q&A: Presidents don't always lay wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day 06/06/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 4, 2010 5:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Still worried about family, Tampa Bay Puerto Ricans ramp up relief effort


    TAMPA — Brenda Irizarry is worried.

    Brenda Irizarry of Tampa, while agonizing over the status of family in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, is helping lead an effort to collect and send supplies to the island. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  2. Was it a crime? 10 patients at nursing home died after Irma


    HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — A 10th elderly patient has died after being kept inside a nursing home that turned into a sweatbox when Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning for three days, even though just across the street was a fully functioning and cooled hospital.

    The Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, 1200 N. 35th Ave. [EMILHY MICHOT | Miami Herald]
  3. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us


    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on display, and it brought illness and death.

    Tampa Bay Times staff writer Craig Pittman.
  4. 'Toxic' times: How repeal of Florida's tax on services reverberates, 30 years later

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Long before Hurricane Irma attacked Florida, the state faced a troubled fiscal future that the storm will only make worse.

    Robertson says the tax debate is now “toxic.”
  5. Facebook to release Russia ads to Congress amid pressure

    NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators.