Obama Speech Rained Out

With president in Illinois, Biden lays wreath at Arlington
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2010 2:55 PM CDT
President Obama encourages attendees to go to their cars for safety during Memorial Day ceremonies at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill., May 31, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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(Newser) – Driving rain and an electrical storm forced President Obama to cancel his Memorial Day speech today at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois. "A little bit of rain doesn't hurt anybody but we don't want anybody struck by lightning," he told the crowd, which was gathered in an open field for the observance. Before the rain struck, the president laid a wreath; he later met with service members' relatives who had come to attend the canceled ceremony, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Obama has drawn criticism for observing Memorial Day near Chicago, where he and his extended family spent the weekend, rather than at Arlington National Cemetery. VP Joe Biden took his place this morning at the Tomb of the Unknowns, where he participating in the annual wreath-laying "the greatest honor of my public life," the Washington Post reports.

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