On Memorial Day weekend of 2018, many Americans were pleased or dismayed (or somewhere in between) that the online shop associated with the Donald J. Trump for President web site and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee had posted an advertisement to the verified Donald J. Trump Facebook page touting an "In honor of Memorial Day, we're doing 25% off all #MAGA gear!" sale in conjunction with the promotional code REMEMBER:
A number of caustic comments aimed at President Trump took him to task for supposedly using a holiday intended to honor our fallen service members as an occasion to hawk merchandise with a "25% off" promotion:
Memorial Day is for remembering those who actually SERVED and gave their all. Not for buying overpriced made in China crap.
How does a sale on Trump Junk “honor” Memorial Day, Donny? This shows how hypocritical your faked love for our troops really is!
This is just absolutely a disgrace. Memorial day isn't about pushing products it's about those men and women who have truly made America great but sacrificing their lives.
Others observed that using the occasion of federal holidays such as Memorial Day as a time for running sales promotions has long been common in the retail industry:
All of you going off on this ... Hey go to Walmart or any other stores or car lots you will see sales there too.
For everybody complaining about this sale, NEWS FLASH: EVERYBODY HAS SALES THIS WEEKEND! If Trump didn't put his stuff on sale, you would all still be claiming that he doesn't support the men and women who have died for this country because he didn't have a Memorial Day sale.
No different than the ubiquitous mattress sales, I suppose.
Or, as Elite Daily noted on the subject, Memorial Day holiday sales may be routine, but not ones actually promoted by the sitting President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief:
It's no secret that big brands usually pounce on the opportunity to offer their customers better-than-normal savings with big deal days around holidays like Memorial Day, but a Memorial Day sale that employs "REMEMBER" as the discount code coming from the sitting U.S. President, who is also Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, did not sit well with many of President Trump's constituents:
Trump has no shame, no respect, no self-control, no ethics, no sense of decency, and cares about nothing that doesn't benefit him personally. https://t.co/ReAWFDShP8
— ThinkItThrough (@ThinkItThruUSA) May 27, 2018
— Danielle Campoamor (@DCampoamor) May 27, 2018
This feels elegant and understated and by “elegant” I mean “tacky as fuck.” https://t.co/Zox46vdizB
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) May 27, 2018
President Trump himself observed Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and paying his respects to those who gave their lives for the United States:
Again, however, some observers were similarly put off by Trump's seemingly using the solemn occasion to promote himself on social media:
Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2018
"This is one of the most inappropriate, ignorant and tone-deaf things our Commander-in-Chief could have said on a day like today," tweeted John Kirby, a State Department spokesman during the Obama administration.
Retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Obama, seemed to chastise Trump in a tweet of his own.
"This day, of all days of the year, should not be about any one of us," he wrote. "No matter how prestigious or powerful, no matter how successful we perceive ourselves to be. Rather, this day should be about those who gave their lives so that we could live ours in freedom."