If you are heading to Memorial Day events this weekend, don’t expect to see Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.
The Democratic U.S. Senate candidate who has been under fire over statements he made about his military service will not be attending public Memorial Day observances this weekend, reports the Connecticut Mirror.
He declined to march in Darien’s Memorial Day parade, the Darien Patch reports.
He also declined to be a speaker at a Memorial Day observance in his hometown of Greenwich.
His spokeswoman, Maura Downes, told the Patch that he canceled for two reasons: his son, Matthew Blumenthal, will return home on leave from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, and he did not want to distract from the purpose of the occasion.
"He is committed to keeping the focus of Memorial Day weekend on veterans," Downes told the Web site. "He believes that it's a solemn occasion and a time that should be spent 100 percent honoring the men and women in the armed forces that have given their lives in defense of our country."
His Republican opponent, former wrestling executive Linda McMahon, will also not attend the Greenwich event.
The veteran who is in charge of the event questioned her motives for attending the American Legion event, according to the Greenwich Time, and said she had not been invited.
"The only reason she's coming is because she's running for office," Marine Cpl. Christopher Hughes told the Time before McMahon decided not to attend. "If she's only coming because she's running for office, do us a favor, stay home."
"Linda will not allow herself to become a distraction from this very solemn day and this important event," said Ed Patru, a spokesman for McMahon, told the newspaper.
A McMahon spokesperson told paper the tribute is one of many public events she has been asked to attend and that she has attended several events to honor the military, the Time reports, including last year's Veterans Day parade in Hartford and a tribute to World War II veterans on Thursday morning in New Canaan.
Blumenthal has also attended events honoring veterans. He attended one on Thursday, the Mirror reports.
"This holiday has a special meaning for me, because my son will be coming home from Quantico," Blumenthal said, about his son, who is in the Marines. "We haven't seen him in a number of months and we are not sure when his next leave will be."