Obama Tells Patriot Guard Get Lost

There was a memorial service two days ago in Beckley, West Virginia for the 29 coal miners who died at the nearby Upper Big Branch mine April 5th.

Twenty-eight hundred people attended the service. Most of them were there to pay their respects and console the grieving. At least a couple of them were there to make symbolic, political appearances.

Many of the working class men who died were veterans and some of them rode motorcycles. A source has told this page that “Families of the miners killed in the explosion…had requested the Patriot Guard Riders attend.” The Patriot Guard Riders is an informal club of veteran motorcyclists which exists to make sure that all veterans are given respectful funerals. And, they were banned from this service by federal officials because those officials believe the Patriot Guard is a security threat.

Cleared With Governor

The appearance of the Patriot Guard at the service, at the request of at least several families, was cleared by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin. Travis Mollohan, a senior aide to the Governor worked with the Patriot Riders to arrange a staging location.

The day before the service, Joe Cumblidge, the West Virginia State Captain of the Patriot Guards emailed the men who were scheduled to participate: “Due to circumstances totally and completely beyond the control of the Patriot Guard Riders and Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia, we are regrettably ordering a STAND DOWN for this mission. Specific details will not be posted here but, we’ve been told we are not welcome to participate because of certain high-level dignitaries that are scheduled to be in attendance.”

The “high-level dignitaries” were President Barack Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden. A Patriot Guard Rider named Pat Hanifin told WSAZ in Charleston that Manchin had been forbidden to allow the Patriot Guard to participate “because of overwhelming security concerns with high-ranking federal officials – it was just not logistically possible for them to be a part of the event.”

A member of the Patriot Guard who had planned to ride that day told this page, “the reason was because the Secret Service did not want us there because of the possibility of the President attending. Why? So he can stand there like a fool and disrespect every veteran in attendance with his hands crossed?”

Obama And Biden

At the service, the President stood in front of a row of 29 crosses and told the mourners, “Our task, here on Earth, is to save lives from being lost in another such tragedy. To do what we must do, individually and collectively, to assure safe conditions underground. To treat our miners like they treat each other, like a family. Because we are all family and we are all Americans.”

Vice President Biden, who spoke before the President, warmed up the crowd with a wise crack intended to insult West Virginia’s most prominent recent football coach, Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez left West Virginia for the University of Michigan after the 2007 season.

“They loved hunting, fishing, riding horses and four-wheelers,” Biden said of the dead miners. “They hated the way Coach Rodriguez left West Virginia for Michigan.” Biden’s remark seemed to charm the mourners, who applauded.

Both Biden and Obama managed to escape West Virginia unharmed.


8 Responses to Obama Tells Patriot Guard Get Lost

  1. Avatar Bonnie Oliver - West Virginia
    Bonnie Oliver - West Virginia says:

    I am hardly ever at a loss for words, but find myself speechless after having read this piece. Firstly – Biden doesn’t have a clue about WV or her people! He was an insult. And being a life long horsewoman and from a family of horsekeepers – it is going to take a lot of explaining for me to understand what it was about patriots on horses that scared the begebbers out of Obama.

    May God bless the families of the lost miners with the strength to carry on. They are in our prayers.

  2. Avatar Certified Nursing Assistant
    Certified Nursing Assistant says:

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  3. Avatar Maddjack55
    Maddjack55 says:

    I thought the Patriot Guard WASN’t about us? If this would have been a KIA does anyone think this would have been said like above? Do you normally write up and voice your opinion when the Family of a KIA “DOESN’T” want us there? This is over the line!!! Way too political. How about we shut up, and do our duty TO THE VETERAN and his/her Family. That’s what we do. The next time a Family doesn’t want us at their loved ones Funeral are you going to berate the Wife or Family, and carry on like you did with Obama? You’ve forgotten the most important part of being a Patriot Guard Rider, Honor and Respect for our Soldiers and LEO’s. Let your politics stay in your head, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT!!!


    • Avatar Cruiseman
      Cruiseman says:

      The post is from “The Aging Rebel” site at http://www.agingrebel.com.

      Although I am a member of the PGR I am not as able as most to respond to family requests as most although I have been fortunate enough to participate some.

      In this particular instance the Guard had been requested by the families and had gone through much in the way of planning to pay respects to the Veterans that died that day. For one individual (or two) to totally disregard the wished of the families of the Veterans is just not right.

      In my opinion this could have been handled in a much better, wiser way, perhaps, by asking the PGR to attend but with a smaller contingent. Security seems to have been the major issue but that could have been handled much better than just saying no to what the PRG stands for and what they (we) do. But to just say NO?

      As you said “..the most important part of being a Patriot Guard Rider, Honor and Respect for our Soldiers and LEO’s.” you are correct 100%. So why stop them?


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  5. Avatar Mary Jane
    Mary Jane says:

    Thank you, much appreciated!

  6. Avatar RETVET1998
    RETVET1998 says:

    Perhaps a smaller contingent would have worked. Maybe if only the PGR members who are veterans attended?