Elwood, Illinois (CNN) - A little rain never hurt anyone, but a torrential downpour and lightning strikes kept President Barack Obama from commemorating Memorial Day as he had planned.
A major rainstorm soaked the president and crowd at Monday's Memorial Day event at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois.
"We are a little bit concerned about lightning. This may not be safe," Obama told the crowd. "I know that all of you are here to commemorate the fallen and that's why we're here."
The president then asked the crowd to move to their cars and wait out the storm, saying he would return if the weather passed. His motorcade left the cemetery once before doubling back when the storm slowed.
Obama was able to greet some crowd members on a bus parked at the cemetery, but never returned to the stage.
Instead, he left the cemetery and met with families of veterans and service members living at the recently opened Chicago-area Fisher House, which services the Hines VA Hospital.