Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, joined volunteer groups on Veterans Day and helped wash the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.
The Pences joined Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and a number of volunteers on Saturday cleaning the face of the 247-foot wall, which is engraved with the names of fallen soldiers, USA Today reported.
Pence reportedly showed up dressed in blue jeans, old cowboy boots and yellow gloves and spent about 40 minutes scrubbing the memorial.
This is quite a contrast to what former Vice President Joe Biden did in Delaware last year on Veterans Day, which was sit in a tent, deliver a speech, shake a few hands and be done.
There is nothing wrong with what Biden did, it’s just what politicians traditionally do. But the fact that Pence and his wife took time on a cold day to get dirty and clean the memorial shed some light on their character — and proves just how different the Trump administration is from the one that preceded it.
Cleaning the wall is a humbling way to honor our veterans.
Being willing to take some time and help scrub the dirt off of the memorial is also an opportunity to show gratitude to all service members who make sacrifices.
It’s not an easy task, especially in freezing temperatures — but it makes an impression. An impression that should linger long after the words of a speech are forgotten.
Pence posted about the event on Twitter and said it was a moving start to the day.
Moving start to Veterans Day. Thanks to @NewDayUSA volunteers who joined @NatlParkService, @SecretaryZinke, Karen & me to clean the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Also inspiring to meet NPS ranger & veteran James Pierce. To all Veterans, we are grateful for your service & sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/2aCacabxax
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) November 11, 2017
He’s not wrong about that.
There isn’t much more sobering than cleaning the memorial and seeing the names of more than 58,000 Americans who died for our country.
Pence, whose father fought in the Korean War, later delivered a tribute to veterans at Arlington National Cemetery.
The National Parks Service cleans the Vietnam War Memorial every week.