CBS’s ‘Face The Nation’ Honors The Fallen

CBS’s Sunday affairs show Face the Nation opened its Memorial Day weekend broadcast the right way- by taking a moment to put things in perspective, and honoring our Nation’s fallen, before entering into its normal routine. 

Watch the show’s open as aired on Sunday, May 26th, 2024:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning. And welcome to Face the Nation on this Memorial Day weekend- where we honor those Americans who died in service and reflect on what they fought for. Those principles are nearly 250 years old, and are becoming increasingly challenged by political forces these days. Politics was set aside Thursday morning, at least long enough for a group of House members, all veterans, who are part of the For Country Caucus, to join the annual cleanup of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial ahead of the holiday weekend. We asked Florida Republican Mike Waltz and New York Democrat Pat Ryan about the now-annual tradition for the caucus.

MIKE WALTZ: Once I got elected, you know, and I saw the acrimony and the infighting, and I said, you know, let’s- let’s get a group of veterans together, people who really have skin in the game. I think it’s important for the American people to see, to see us honoring our forefathers, to see us where Democrat, Republican, black, white, brown, none of that matters. It just matters that we’re all Americans, we’re all veterans and we’re honoring those that came before us.

PAT RYAN: This is the most powerful thing I’ve done in Congress, truly. It’s very emotional. And it’s — it’s positive. I mean, there’s so many divisive forces and so to get together with fellow veterans, all services, all generations, and just actually do something with your hands that improves the world, that honors our veterans, that prepares this memorial for hundreds of thousands of Americans that are going to come here this weekend. It’s an honor.

If there is any quibble to be had here, it is with moderator Margaret Brennan’s assertion that “political forces” are challenging the Nation’s founding principles. What forces are these? What specific parts of the Founding are they challenging? If there is any challenge to such ideas as the inalienability of our fundamental rights as delineated in the Declaration of Independence, or to those fundamental freedoms protected in the Bill of Rights, it comes from the left. 

Brennan’s nonspecific threat assessments aside, this segment distinguishes itself. For starters, Face the Nation was the only non-cable Sunday show to go live. NBC’s Meet the Press aired an election special, and ABC temporarily spared us Jon Karl’s caterwauling over the Appeal to Heaven flag by preempting This Week in favor of Formula 1 racing. 

Brennan sat down with two veteran Members of the House of Representatives, Mike Waltz (R-FL) and Pat Ryan (D-NY) to discuss their bipartisan initiative to clean up the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. They also discussed several pro-veteran initiatives making their way through Congress.

But most importantly: the show honored the Fallen.

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