Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq, spoke out against Donald Trump this week following his comments about deceased troops, the Huffington Post reports.
First, Trump waited for 12 days to address the deaths of four Green Berets. They perished during an Oct. 4 military action.
When he finally did speak, Trump used his time to publicly criticize President Obama for not calling the families of fallen service members in the past.
The Khans were appalled by his comments, and publicly stated that they “stand with the families in their moment of grief.”
They also called Trump out for his “selfish and divisive actions,” saying that he has “undermined the dignity of the high office of the presidency.”
The Khans came to national fame last year, when they appeared at the Democratic National Convention. Khizr Khan offered to let then-Candidate Trump read the U.S. Constitution that he keeps in his pocket.
“I will gladly lend you my copy,” Khan said at the convention, while brandishing his own copy of the venerated document. The crowd went wild for the Khans.
Trump publicly insulted them shortly after.
The Khans have remained active in politics since appearing at the Convention, and currently help fundraise for Democratic candidates in Virginia, where they live.
Their son, Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, died in 2004 while serving a tour of duty in Iraq. He stopped a suicide bomber from entering a military base, at the loss of his own life.
In his remarks about the fallen soldiers, Trump stated that he had written personal letters to the families, and plans to phone them sometime this week.
Trump also stated that former presidents have not written or called families, a statement that is absolutely and categorically untrue.
“Other presidents did not call, they would write letters, and some presidents didn’t do anything,” Trump said.
History shows us that he’s wrong. Barack Obama wrote letters and made phone calls to the families of soldiers killed in the line of duty. He also made several visits to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where wounded troops are stationed.
Donald Trump did not go to Dove Air Force Base to watch the bodies being returned to U.S. soil.
When the Khans became Gold Star parents in 2004, the name given to parents who lose their children in combat, they would have received a letter from then-President George W. Bush. This was his favored method of reaching out to bereaved families.
Trump’s remarks created a backlash on Twitter, with people posting pictures and personal memories. One deeply-offended Twitter user stated that “When my brother was killed, Pres Bush listened while I screamed at him & then held me as a I sobbed.”
The tradition of presidents reaching out to grieving family members of servicemen and women dates to at least the days of President Abraham Lincoln, who famously penned a letter to Lydia Parker Bixby after she lost five sons to the Union Army during the Civil War.
FDR wrote a similar letter to Mrs. Sullivan decades later during WWII, when she lost all of her sons to the conflict.
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