A grieving gold star mother recently relayed her perspective of an encounter with President Joe Biden on Memorial Day 2022.
The mother, Paula Knauss Selph, was grieving the death of her son, Staff Sgt. Ryan Christian Knauss when invited to meet with Biden in the Oval Office.
Sgt. Knauss was killed at Kabul’s international airport, along with 13 U.S. soldiers on August 26, 2021, in what many have referred to as a disastrous exit from the Afghan theater.
Selph recalled: “I leaned into my son’s coffin to hug him for the last time. I wept more than I ever have.” This painful recollection paints a vivid picture of the unimaginable sorrow of a mother who had just lost her son in Afghanistan.
According to the Daily Mail, when Selph met Biden, he said, “I can understand if you’re angry.”
“I stood face-to-face with him, eyeball-to-eyeball,” Selph said. “I began to weep [and told him], ‘It should have never happened this way.’”
According to Selph, the president “stood there stoically, ‘nothing out of his mouth except — ‘well would you like to get a photo with me?’”
According to The Daily Wire, Selph told the president “the only picture she would take with him was if he stood with her at her son’s tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery.”
Biden reportedly replied, “I can’t do that because Secret Service won’t let me do that.”
An angry Selph said: “It’s a moral disgrace for a president not to have mercy on the people that he serves. It is a moral disgrace,” Selph said, adding that Biden thought the “sad occasion” was a “photo op’” rather than an opportunity to comfort the grieving.
Speaking about her son, Selph said: “Ryan, all of his life was quite certain he wanted to go in the armed forces. … He was so disciplined. He was so smart. … He was protecting and giving us the opportunity for many people to live out the American dream. That’s what will long outlive all of us.”
Selph’s anger has been echoed by other grieving families. Congressional members and Selph’s Respect and Remember Foundation are encouraging the grieving to share their stories.
Dissatisfaction with America’s unceremonious withdrawal from Afghanistan intensified after the president communicated indifference when the bodies of American soldiers were brought home and he was caught on camera looking at his watch.
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