Sgt. La David Johnson, the 25-year-old father and fallen soldier who was killed in a an ambush in Africa last October, was remembered as a hero in his native Miami Gardens on Sunday. Hundreds, including the soldier’s widow Myeshia Johnson, attended the City of Miami Gardens’ Memorial Day breakfast at Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex. While it wasn’t a surprise the president didn’t make it, Department of Defense personnel and top military brass were conspicuously missing, too.
Trump really outraged a lot of people when he couldn’t remember Johnson’s name during a condolence call to the soldier’s widow, who was pregnant, after the hero’s unexpected and tragic death late last year. He also disrespectfully told Johnson’s widow that her husband “knew what he signed up” and then went on to deny those comments in an offensive move that drew criticism from Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.
On Memorial Day, the president delivered remarks at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. However, there was no federal government or strong military presence at the breakfast attended by Johnson’s widow just a few states away in Florida. There was no indication or trace of government support for the fallen soldier, which seemed to mirror the government’s response when Johnson was killed in combat last year.
Trump’s presence, however, was not missed as Johnson’s widow, Miami city officials and others paid homage to the fallen soldier, according to the Miami Herald.
“My husband always told me that he was going to be famous, but I [never thought] it would be under these circumstances,” she said at the city-organized annual event, which is now known as the Sgt. La David T. Johnson Memorial Day Breakfast. “My husband is a man of many talents. He is an awesome father, husband and brother, and an awesome soldier. This [award] just recognized all his accomplishments and everything that he put his hard work into.”
Johnson and three other U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush by militants aligned with the Islamic State during an operation in Niger on Oct. 4. The soldiers were escorting 30 Nigerien troops through an area 120 miles north of Niamey. Two other U.S. soldiers and eight Nigerien forces were injured, and Johnson’s body was found two days after the attack.