WASHINGTON — The National Guard will hold a “rededicated” ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Sunday for wounded National Guardsmen who were killed during clashes with white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month.
The ceremony, to mark the end of a year of mourning for those who died in the clashes, will be held on the grounds of Arlington National Military Park.
The White House on Monday said President Donald Trump had been briefed on the incident, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the president had called the families of the victims “patriots.”
Sanders added that the White House is working with state and local law enforcement officials to ensure the families receive the proper care and the right resources.
The day before the ceremony, the White Capitol Police had deployed riot shields to guard the area around the memorial, where Trump was expected to deliver a speech.
Trump has criticized the federal government for not doing enough to ensure families receive proper care for injured veterans.
He has also suggested that the National Guard is not the proper organization to provide such care.
Sanders on Monday defended the use of riot shields in Charlottesville.
She said the National Guards are “officially recognized as the primary, and the only, force to protect the National Mall,” adding that the Guard is “not just there to protect a place, it’s there to defend our Constitution.”
The Guard is currently conducting a “special investigation” into the Charlottesville violence, Sanders said, but she did not specify what that investigation was.