Veterans and families of veterans, including several members of the Labor community, spoke out against Trump’s recently reported comments of war dead as “suckers” and “losers.” They did so a week after Vice President Pence visited Duluth, and a day after the president’s son, Don Jr., visited Duluth.
“I have two Marine friends who didn’t come back” from wartime service, said Glenn Jackson, retired Steelworker and veteran of the U.S. Navy, Ready Reserve and Air National Guard. “Could they have been president? Maybe. But they never got the chance.
Former state Senator Becky Lourey spoke as well, remembering her son Matthew, who was killed in a mission during his second tour of duty in Iraq. Lourey, visibly moved, spoke passionately about the concepts of duty and service.
“I am a Gold Star Mother whose heart is still broken,” she said. “And it was broken again by a commander in chief who should be thanking those who serve.”
The idea of an individual dedicating themselves to something greater is unknown to Trump, Lourey said.
Fletcher Hinds, a Marine who served in Vietnam for 13 months starting in 1969, said Trump’s comments “are personal to me.”
“When the commander in chief denigrates people he’s supposed to be leading, he’s not suitable to lead,” he said. “He’s the wrong person to be in the White House.”
The Duluth Central Labor Body helped organize the event at the Civic Center in Duluth on Thursday.