May 31st, 2010
01:13 PM ET
13 years ago

Downpour delays Obama in Illinois

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.

But the presidential motorcade faced another hurdle – screeching to a halt on I-55 because a vehicle suffered a flat tire. The occupants were able to hitch a ride in another motorcade vehicle and resume the drive.

At Fisher House, President Obama spent about thirty minutes visiting with families, posing for photos, and touring the facility, according to White House spokesman Bill Burton.

The motorcade returned to Chicago and dropped off the president at the airport. Despite the continuing rain, Air Force One took off without incident.

Air Force One is scheduled to land at Andrews Air Force base Monday evening. President Obama is expected to deliver Memorial Day remarks to troops and families on the base.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Danica

    Of course it's raining because he clearly doesn't care about our country. If he was really an American, it wouldn't rain. Muslim make it rain like communists. Palin 2012 because she's American.

    May 31, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Brenda

    Yesterday marked the "1000 deaths' mark in Afghanistan.

    The majority of these deaths occurred while Obama was in office.

    Section 60 of Arlington Cemetary is for our military men/women heros who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Being that Obama sent many of these men/women to their deaths in Afghanistan--he should have been at Arlington Cemetary honoring our war dead there.

    May 31, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Hammerer

    If there was a question about obama's loyalty he has answered it loud and clear.

    May 31, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Why didn't "the Chosen One" simply raise up his staff and command the heavens to be silent?

    May 31, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. debra

    Gee, I am so glad those fallen soldiers didn't let a rainstorm stop them...there aren't meteorologists in the white house? No plans to meet else where? What a bunch of losers this administration is.....

    May 31, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Mark Hudson

    Obama should have honored the fallen at Arlington.

    May 31, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Ben

    I like to wish all the men and women in arm services the best on this Memorial Day. President Obama has done an outstanding job. I have never seen a person handle some many crisis, while remaining cool, calm, collected, and strong. President Obamna has made me be proud to be an American.

    May 31, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Obozo's Record Deficit + Higher Taxes

    Who cares?
    Same old canned speeches from OBOZO.

    May 31, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Get A Grip

    If we're lucky the downpour will wash O'blamer away

    May 31, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. domincanmamaforuhbama

    Somehow, uhbama will blame George Bush for this.

    May 31, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Remember the Alamo

    How convenienet for the anti military of the U.S. Commander-in-Chief. What a un-holy mess we Americans have gotten ourselves into.

    May 31, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Karen

    Very interesting and sad.

    May 31, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. joynnbob

    Obama the scum bag. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    May 31, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |