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Amid the fanfare of King Charles’ coronation over the weekend, it was easy to miss President Biden’s climate czar John Kerry — who flew to the U.K. without regard for the emissions his travel necessitated — sitting in attendance at the official ceremony.
There were some, however, who did pick Kerry out in the crowd and noted something interesting about his appearance. Dressed in a suit, the former Secretary of State was weighed down with service medals from the United States military…the medals he previously was publicly proud to discard as a show of his allegedly strongly held convictions.
Biden “climate czar” John Kerry was spotted yesterday at the coronation of King Charles III.
Did he take his private jet? pic.twitter.com/k08PpIFrhS
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 7, 2023
You see, back in 1971, a much-younger John Kerry told WRC-TV on November 6, 1971, that he “gave back” the medals he earned with his service in Vietnam. He, along with other anti-war veterans who discarded their honors, Kerry said at the time, “decided to give them back to their country.”
When asked whether he’d returned a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts he received for his combat service, Kerry replied that he had and “above that, [I] gave back the others.”
Kerry was a leader among anti-war veterans and led them in a protest in Washington, D.C. According to news reports in 1971, “many veterans were seen throwing their medals and ribbons over the fence in front of the U.S. Capitol,” and a handful of outlets “reported that Kerry was among these veterans,” according to ABC News.
Kerry explained of the action that, “[i]n a real sense, this administration forced us to return our medals because beyond the perversion of the war, these leaders themselves denied us the integrity those symbols supposedly gave our lives.”
When running his unsuccessful campaign for president in 2004, Kerry tried to flip-flop on the issue, denying he had thrown out his medals and trying to rewrite history to change the position he’d made crystal clear more than thirty years earlier.
Then this weekend, there Kerry sat at King Charles’ coronation, wearing medals he’d thrown away decades ago.
So happy to see that John Kerry found his medals pic.twitter.com/oj3z6ETHuS
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) May 7, 2023
I’m sure it was a relief for Kerry to have miraculously “found” his medals more than half a century after he chucked them in an act of political protest, but what changed? And why is he now seemingly proud to be associated with his military service in Vietnam?
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