Inside the Beltway: Memorial Day according to Betty Cantrell, Miss America – Washington Times

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Not everything is alarming and annoying in a year rife with change and uncertainty. Witness a reassuring moment with Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell, who is in the nation’s capital Monday for Memorial Day — specifically, the National Memorial Day Parade which this year honors the veterans of World War II, Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm, those who lost their lives in those conflicts, and first responders who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“I’ve had the honor of meeting hundreds of American soldiers and courageous veterans who have fought for our great country,” Miss Cantrell tells Inside the Beltway. “They deserve all of our respect and admiration for their service, and I am honored to participate.”

There you go: Simple, to the point — and she is not alone. Also on parade duty: astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, celebrity chef Robert Irvine (a veteran of the Britain’s Royal Navy), plus Irish tenor Anthony Kearns, country music crooners Phil Vassar and John Michael Montgomery, American Idol kingpin Trent Harmon, and 1970s star Tony Orlando, the man behind “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree,” an anthem of note for families awaiting the return of loved ones serving overseas.

Over 1,000 active duty military also participate in the star-spangled event — and that population includes plenty of brass. Also featured: USO performers and a tribute to the “American Blueprint” — described as “the strong foundation that made America great: faith, family, military and work ethic,” this according to the nonprofit American Veterans Center, which organizes the parade.

The event can be seen at 2 p.m. EDT on the Reelz Channel and the Armed Forces Network; it is also streamed live at and on YouTube.


“With courage and a love of country that knows no limits, America’s men and women in uniform exemplify patriotism at its core — stepping into harm’s way to protect our people and to safeguard the ideals that have long sustained our democracy. Those who serve under the stars and stripes embody the highest form of citizenship, and on Memorial Day, we pay solemn tribute to those brave Americans who laid down their lives to defend our freedom.”

— from President Obama’s official proclamation recognizing Memorial Day. He has asked all Americans to say a prayer for peace at 11 a.m. local time, wherever they happen to be, and later to observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m., also at local time. The one-minute event was established by Congress 16 years ago, the midafternoon selected “because it is the time when many Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday.”


“Just 1 percent of Russians approved of U.S. leadership in 2015 — the worst rating in the world last year and the lowest approval Gallup has measured for the U.S. in the past decade. Remarkably, this is even worse than their previous record-low 4 percent approval in 2014.”

— from a Gallup “Global Leadership Report” poll released Friday. The massive survey taps public sentiments in 132 nations, specifically gauging opinion of “U.S. leadership.” The median approval of the U.S. across all countries in the poll was 45 percent.


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Inside the Beltway: Memorial Day according to Betty Cantrell, Miss America – Washington Times