For Immediate Release Contact: Robert Hughes 202-483-5700 or 703-527-0237
The White House Military Office confirmed in two different telephone inquiries that a presidential memorial wreath was sent to Arlington National Cemetery and placed at the Confederate Monument in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
In a subsequent inquiry by the press, a response from the White House Media Relations Office denied that President George W. Bush placed a presidential wreath when he spoke during the Memorial Day ceremonies at the cemetery.
Both positions appear to be correct. Although President Bush did not place a presidential wreath at he Confederate Monument, he authorized that one be placed there, a practice that had been suspended by his father when he was president.
The announcement that a presidential wreath had been placed on behalf of President Bush was made at Confederate ceremonies the following week and received the applause of the attendees, which included Department of Energy lawyer Stephen Page Smith, attorney Thomas O'Neill, Senator Trent Lott's chief counsel Robert Wilkie, and chief investigator for the National Credit Union Administration David Eno, among others.