tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 25, 2015 4:00am-9:01am PDT
and a good memorial monday to you, we start this holiday with breaking weather news out of texas and the plain states. at least three people are dead in texas and oklahoma. at least eight people are missing and they're bracing for even more rain today after a weekend of devastating and deadly flash flooding. >> oh [ bleep ]! >> oh my god. stop stop stop! he needs to get out! here we go! >> some good samaritans actually helped rescue an elderly man from a vehicle. gabe gutierrez has the latest from hayes county texas. >> reporter: this morning in texas, a crushing memorial day.
hundreds of people waking up homeless. local officials calling this flooding historic and catastrophic. >> we do have whole streets that have maybe one or two houses left on them and the rest are just slabs. >> reporter: one more survived but wife and two children along with five other people are missing. they were staying at a house along the blanco river saturday night when a wall of water lifted the home off its foundation. the river reaches flood stage at 12 feet but it took just one hour to crest at more than 43. this water rose quickly, unlike anything residents had ever seen. look at where that desk ended up all the way up in that tree. emergency workers raced to rescue trapped homeowners and drivers. >> oh my god! >> reporter: a man was saved moments before raging river swallowed his suv. but in oklahoma a heart breaking loss. captain jason farley veteran
firefighter drowned while trying to rescue teem trapped by the flood waters. >> he was a very good man. >> reporter: late sunday tornado warnings were issued for parts of kansas missouri iowa and illinois. >> it's devastating. >> reporter: back in texas, the damage assessment is just beginning. the small resort wiped out. >> when you walk down here you can tell it's going to take months to fix a lot of this stuff. >> let's bring in bill keirens now. >> good memorial day, the pictures, just incredible from over the weekend, whether it was the flooding or the tornados even just plain old wind damage texas and oklahoma its been a miserable two days. now through today, here with the rainfall totals to date. i mean this is just incredible stuff here. 18.5 inches over oklahoma city most they've ever had in any individual month. you can go back down into central texas, south of austin san antonio, back um through the
houston area shreveport, in this area everybody's had at least six inches some as much as 12 to 18 inches and there's a few spots in the white right there, that was 20 inches of rain reported in oklahoma. still flash flood watches up for today. another round of rain is likely. it's going to come through and be gone. it's going to be with thunderstorms possibly severe thunderstorms, maybe a few tornados and wind damage but the ground is so super saturated. one to three inches will quickly cause flash flooding. could get as much as five. a lot of the rivers in the area have crested or close to cresting. that's not going to be too much of a problem at the end of the week. it's really a now problem in texas. here's the future radar. 1:00 p.m., there's that line of thunderstorms that'll be marching across the state in between dallas and austin san antonio getting clipped a little bit too. it looks like the main event should be from waco to dallas northwards. that's where we could get damaging winds and the computers with estimating a hefty amount of rain as it rolls on through.
three inches in dallas two inches in san antonio. all the problems are in texas and oklahoma. it's actually a very nice memorial day forecast for the east coast and anyone heading out to the lakes and the beaches there and the great lakes, craig. we wish them well. today will probably be the end of our historic flooding in texas, back to you. >> bill thank you. developing right now in washington, d.c. security scare at the u.s. capitol. we have just learned a pressure cooker found in a suspicious vehicle near the capitol and parked just blocks away from the memorial day concert yesterday, we've learned that it was not in fact hazardous. the bomb squad safely destroyed the pressure cooker. the owner was found and arrested. he is identified as israel smilaz, he's been charges of operating after revocation. we're trying to figure out what that means. no more details about the charge. we'll get an update in a bit.
let's go now across the national mall to the white house where there are new questions this morning and the obama administration's strategy in iraq. this morning, we're learning iraqi security forces backed by shiite militias and tribes are launching a major offensive to recapture ramadi. some time in the next 48 hours that city fell recently to isis militants. ash carter laid the blame squarely on the iraqi military. >> the iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. they were not outnumbered. in fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. and yet, they failed to fight. they withdraw from the site and that says to me and i think to most of us that we have an issue with the will of the iraqiss to fight isil and defend themselves.
>> let's get right to our senior white house correspondent, kris janson what is the white house saying about all of this? >> good morning, craig. they believe this is just what might have been expected. we're eight months into a year's long strategy no doubt, secretary carter's comments which are the harshest that we've heard from any member of the administration from the fall of ramadi just a week ago has given fuel to the fire of critics who say that this plan which is air strikes and training largely, simply isn't enough. folks like john mccain who have been pushing lindsey graham who have been pushing for more boots on the ground. ash carter said categorically however he doesn't believe that a change in strategy is needed. and in fact even if some of the things that have been suggested by democrats including perhaps a limited number of boots on the ground that could go to the front lines and help direct some of those air strikes essentially
serve as intelligence. when he believes the time for a change in strategy has come he will suggest it but gave no indication, craig, that that time is now. >> you know chris, here's the thing, you know this to be true it seems as this has been the knock on iraqi troops for some years now. that they have demonstrated in the past that they, you know either lack the will or the capacity to fight and for a long time, they were taking bribes. is there a reason to believe that something is going to change inside the iraqi fighting force? or is this the way it is moving forward? >> well the president's argument, and he made it on the mideast he gave to atlantic magazine. these troops are not the ones who have been trained by u.s. and coalition forces. but certainly, you can see that certain level of frustration, there's no doubt that these troops at least, did essentially turn and cut and run, but i should also say that the iraqis are pushing back
pretty hard against this. they issued a long statement that said at least in part that the iraqi army in generals do have the will to fight isis and they are still sacrificing their lives. and they would also point to what you just mentioned, craig, which is they are going back in and they have an offensive that they plan to try to retake ramadi. >> chris jansing for us of course the president and vice president heading over to arlington national cemetery a bit later. chris, back to you a bit later as well thank you. new developments this morning on the southern california oil spill. officials now say they have recovered roughly a fifth of the more than 100,000 gallons that gushed into the pacific, fouling up nine miles of the coastline there. nbc scott cone is live in santa barbara, california with the latest on that for thus morning. hey there scott, what's the latest? >> reporter: hi craig, from a state beach and campground that should be full of happy memorial day campers this time of year
it's not, of course it's closed, not only this holiday weekend, but next and beyond through the fourth of june as they continue to try to clean this up. when you're cleaning up a spill of this size it tends to be a sort of one step forward, two steps back type of thing. we did learn, you saw the 105,000 gallons, that's down from what was originally thought. there's less oil than they thought there was. good deal of oil has been recovered, but much of it in the pipeline they have to drain as they try and figure out what the cause is. and also officials said late yesterday they discovered a new oil slick offshore here may not be related to the oil spill, just the naturally occurring tar that happens off here off the coast. they're also still trying to rescue and the treat the wildlife that's impacted. there's talk of hours of time taking to get to the, to get to the wildlife seen now they're collecting volunteers and training them actually through next week. than gives you a sense of how
long this might go craig. >> scott cone in santa barbara, thank you. we're just getting started on this memorial edition of msnbc. almost 20 people are considered a 2016 run, making this the biggest field in republican history. we'll look at that the. also the stories of the our soldiers on this memorial day. a live look there at arl ton national cemetery also a live look at u.s. capitol. we'll be talking with veterans throughout the morning, reminding us why we commemorate this special day.
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the number of candidates is expected to bottom out well over a dozen and now the party is realizing debate stages can't hold everyone. here's nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> i really appreciate the opportunity. >> reporter: so much ambition. >> thank you. >> reporter: so little elbow room. >> there's only 55 people that are thinking about running for president. best i can tell. >> reporter: a republican race that looks supersized. >> is this the ready for hillary group? >> reporter: you could say this about this jumbo line-up of competitors. so many faces, almost 20 they do not easily fit on one screen or more importantly, on one debate stage. >> the fear is if you're a candidate and not on the stage, then you're not having the kind of momentum you need to move forward. so expect a lot of the campaigns now to kick into gear. >> reporter: count on twitter to offer these space-saving solutions.
imagine the hollywood squares debate model, or even a 2016 republican primary bracket, but any lineup is a logistics challenge for the republican national committee. >> we're trying to figure out how many can we fit on a debate stage. >> reporter: but the rnc is not the decider in chief. each debate will determine the qualifications. >> each candidate is going to have to determine what their strategy is headed into the first debate on august. >> reporter: will carly fiorina, the only woman make the cut? >> let me come and be on the stage all by myself. >> reporter: or mike huckabee the 2008 iowa caucus winner thinks he deserves a chance. but when republicans gather in cleveland this august for the first debate only the top ten will get a microphone. based on an average of their poll numbers. >> to be a winner you have to think like a winner. >> reporter: donald trump might have the name recognition needed to crack the top ten, but with
no front runner and the biggest field in gop history, making the debate team is the summer's real prize. kelly o'donnell, nbc news washington. >> thanks to kelly o'donnell there. let's bring in political reporter leanne caldwell bob franken. leanne you first, come debate time, how's it going to look that carly fiorina, how's it going to look if she's not on the stage? >> yeah it's not going to look very good for the republican party. people like carly fiorina, there's rick santorum who won the iowa caucuses in 2012 are at risk of not being on the stage. it's problematic. if they do it based on poll numbers, especially the first debate we're talking about in august, you have people some of these candidates who aren't even included in the national polls right now. george pitacki. he's making an announcement this
week. we're expecting him to jump in. he's not included on many of the polls. so it could be very skewed data they're going after too. >> bob, here's the other part heck even ten people on a stage. that really seems crowded. it would seem to me there has to be perhaps a better way to wit whittle down the field of presidential want-to-bes. >> i have a suggestion that is not to at the quicken arena in cleveland, where they're holding the debate don't have a stage at all. >> i think that's one possibility. another possibility would be to just allow each candidate one sound byte no questions, just one sound byte because let's face it all we remember is one sound byte. >> it's not much a debate
anyway. you're going to have a situation whether it's 10 or 20 where you have more people debating than watching. >> let's talk about the southern republican leadership conference that just wrapped over the weekend, leanne ben carson won the straw poll at that gathering. how seriously should we all be taking mr. carson right now? >> ben carson's path to the nomination is through straw poll, we're learning. he put in a lot of time a lot of resources, he busted he brought his people in to make sure that he'd win. it looks like this is a strategy right now, especially early on. what this does is gives him headlines. perhaps gives him some momentum and it could give him a little bump in the polls, and that might be necessary to get on the debate stage in august at this very early stage of the campaign. >> bob we don't have time to get into it this morning, it would seem to me also that at some point, we realize that straw polls are about as effective as predicting the next president of the united states is going outside and licking
your thumb and putting it up in the wind. but yet, we continue to use straw polls. >> bellwell we do because somebody makes money or gets a headline. i'm not a fan, i don't think anybody who realizes -- i mean, i sort of think they're like tv's man on the street by getting the people people who will talk to you. they don't have the meaning whatsoever. >> bob franken, leanne we'll be spending lots of time with you guys over the next year and a half appreciate you. next hour we will be live in new york where hillary clinton will be marching in her local parade after the break though 71 people 71 arrested after demonstrations broke out in cleveland over the weekend. we're live there with the latest on that. also new details coming in about the security scare at the nation's capitol. we'll tell you why the bomb squad was called in. and the investigation continues into the taxi crash that killed famed math maty tigs john nash and his wife alicia.
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peaceful demonstrations turned aggressive. the cleveland police chief talked about the arrest on sunday. >> we only moved in to make arrests when things got violent and protesters refused to disperse. we wanted to make sure that people understand we're going to help you in this process, but if things turn violent as we stated in the beginning, we will take action to preserve safety in this city. >> it was acquitted saturday in the november 2012 deaths of who unarmed black motorists in a barrage of gunfire. all agencies will be reviewing this case. scott neul is live in cleveland this morning, scott, what charges, first of all, what charges are they facing? >> reporter: there are a variety of charges including inciteing rioting and minor charges as well. you were talking just a few minutes ago about quicken loans
arena which is where we are right now. and last night, that was the cavs hawks playoff game. there were concerns about protesters coming and creating problems. there was a heavy police presence and at about 8:30 tipoff time there were a doz than closed down an intersection not far from here. police came about 70 of them and sealed off traffic, made sure everything was peaceful. that demonstration dispersed at about an hour and a half later, and no arrest made in that case. as you mentioned, the 71 arrests on saturday they still, most things were peaceful here. there were a few squirmishes that the police chief was talking about. most of the simpgs here in cleveland -- situation here in cleveland was peaceful. community leaders called for calm and it has been that way here. no demonstrations by the way planned for today as far as we have heard, back to you. >> okay. scott really quickly, before i let you go folks have continued to wait for an update on the
tamir rice case as well. at this point, do we know when we can expect an update on that case? >> reporter: we just heard from the head of that investigation who said that the investigation would be wrapped up pretty soon. and that will go to prosecutors, and they will have to decide if any charges will be filed in that case. and that really is going to be a big test for the city of cleveland, craig. >> scott for us in cleveland, ohio, scott, thank you. a live look now at cape may, new jersey. there's cape may. oh, that's a good-looking beach there, jen. images like that make all the traffic worth it, don't they? we're going to update your travel forecast for you after this. stay out of the sun, right? if only it were that easy. how to be outdoors without risking your health. the story of two brothers sergeants brandon and aaron kraimer, their story live, next from the national mall.
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we continue to follow this developing story in the nation's capitol right now. the bomb squad has safely destroyed a pressure cooker found inside a suspicious vehicle in washington, d.c. let's get to pete williams standing by for us in the d.c. bureau. what are authorities saying about all of this? >> what they're not saying is what attracted their attention to this car in the first place. it was parked at the foot of the u.s. capitol on the west side. when they took a closer look they detected gasoline and inside saw a pressure cooker and a propane tank. those cooking pots have been used in the past to make bombs. they closed off the street for a couple of blocks in both directions and called in the bomb squad. that team searched the car and eventually removed this suspicious items and blew them up. capitol police say though that nothing hazardous was found. the driver who is from suburban washington has been arrested
but the charge is driving on an expired license. the car was discovered a few hours before sunday's annual memorial day concert on the west park of the capitol. pressure cooker have attracted police attention. an issue of the online al qaeda magazine "inspire" included instructions on how to build bombs. >> pete williams thank you. turning now to memorial day. a live look at arlington national cemetery where president obama will be laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier to remember the fallen. former army veteran patrick murphy sat down with the secretary of president's affair robert mcdonald. they started by talking about how important the cemeteries are to the origins of the va system take a listen. >> it was the cemeteries that actually were the origin of the early va. we talk about president lincoln's second address.
he said to care for him who's born into battle his widow and orphan. the importance of women in the military and female veterans but we still use that second address, it was during that time, during the civil war, that 750,000 americans lost their lives. so think of 514 americans dying, every single day, for four years. and the country wasn't ready for that carnage, so they buried the soldiers on the battlefield. and it was president lincoln when he created the sanitation commission, they dug up the bodies, and they identified them. and we still have those records today. and then he worked with congress to create 14 cemeteries around the country to rebury those bodies identified with grave markers. so it really is the nucleus, it is the catalyst of what created the va. now to the story of sergeant aaron kramer. killed in action on september
16th 2010 from injuries sustained in combat in afghanistan as he served in the 101st airborne division. he was just 22 years old. i'm honored to be joined by his twin brother, sergeant brandon kramer who brought his body's home five years ago. it's good to see you sergeant kramer, thanks for being with me this morning. talk to us a little bit -- >> thank you, craig. >> talk to us about your brother and what you remember most about him on this memorial day. >> my brother and i, we joined the army right out of high school. and my brother, he knew exactly what he wanted. he wanted to serve his country. he wanted an opportunity to do something more with his life and he enlisted right away. he didn't hesitate. i was unsure myself but i followed him. pretty soon after. but my brother, he loved the army. he also, he loved his family. and having both at the same time
was difficult for him. i think something that he always wanted was just to be back home with his family his wife to start a family himself. but he he chose to serve. he chose to do one more deployment to afghanistan with his men that he had trained. and i think that shows character on his part. sacrifice that he made. he gave up everything that he loved to serve this country. >> i want to read -- >> this memorial -- >> go ahead, i'm sorry. >> no go ahead, i'm sorry. >> no, i just think this memorial day, when i remember him, you know every day i think for anyone that's lost someone that they love they always remember every day, but for memorial day it's a special thing. the last time we were here in washington, d.c. i was with my brother. it was right before we both enlisted for the army. so it is a special place and a special time to be here now. >> i want to read part of a letter that you wrote to your father about your brother,
aaron, and you wrote in part quote, when i remember my brother, i remember the huge impact that he has, that he's had on my life. his efforts not in the war in afghanistan, but they did bring me to a greater understanding of my purpose here. his heroic actions have changed how i choose to live my life. how did your brother change the way you live your life? >> it taught me to make sure every day it means something. my brother gave up everything. i spent four years in the military, and as much as i did, i hardly could match the sacrifice that he made for me and for everyone here. and so every day i tried to meet that, and i, i know that i probably never could do the same, but i try to do that every day with my life and how i live. >> sergeant brandon kramer on this memorial day. not just about barbecue and beer, is it sir? appreciate your time and your
sacrifice. we're thinking of you and your family and all of the military families around the country on this memorial day, thank you, sir. >> thank you, craig. the number of americans heading out on the nation's highways today to attend memorial day celebrations and observances, even larger than last year apparently but even the best made travel plans don't always go off without a hitch. take a look at this aaa says nearly 350,000 drivers at the roadside over this memorial day weekend. i'm joined bay aaa spokesperson i do not believe those numbers. i do not believe that 350,000 people will be stranded that cannot be true. >> it is. well we have more people traveling this year than last year. we're up about 5% and we're also seeing the highest level for holiday travel that we've seen in a decade. so with more than 37 million people traveling, we are expecting to rescue about 350,000. and the main reasons for calls
to aaa will be dead batteries, flat tires, and lockouts. so you can minimize your chances of being stuck on the roadway by giving your car a check before you head out. >> that many people are running out the gas and locking their keys in their car? >> they are, but aaa will be there to rescue them. >> i'm a aaa member you get out there quickly usually. talk about gas prices and how gas prices are also i guess, essentially the cause of the surge in traffic, no? >> gas prices are fueling the increasing travel. we're about 90 cents lower per gallon than we were from last year but people have been saving money all year. over $50 billion in lower gas prices this year compared to last year. and that's putting some real money in people's pockets that they can spend on travel. >> majority of americans hitting the road what about air travel? >> air travel is also up about 2.5% to 2.6 million travelers this weekend. so the airports are going to be
very busy as well. >> heather hunter aaa, you call her over memorial day here she's going to help you get your keys, thank you, heather. >> thank you craig. once you have arrived at your destination, odds are, you'll be spending a lot of time out on the sun at picnics and barbecues this afternoon. i want to bring in -- let's get the live shot from the cape. i'm surprised there's no one out there already. the last thing you want following a day of fun is a nasty, holiday sunburn. you're in luck, we've got dr. debbie here. dr. debbie with the nyu school of medicine. dr. debbie always good to see you. thank you so much. >> nice to see you too. >> let's start with easy things that folks can do to protect their skin when they are out today. sun block. >> yeah of course. so if you can cover up whether it's with hats over sunglasses, that's better, but if you're showing skin use block or screen. >> what sun block should folks
be using? there's 30 or 50 or even higher. >> as long as it's 30 or above, you're okay. it doesn't have to be a higher number. that's the sun protective factor, it's blocking the sun's raies from penetrating your skin. the important thing is if you put it on see how long it lasts for. some only last for 40 minutes, some 80 minutes. and before they used to say they were water proof. that's the real reason they last for a short time because when you sweat. it fades away then in the water, it's worse. >> oh put on my sun block and get in the water. >> exactly. >> they never reapply. >> they have to reapply. then also with the water, the other thing is, you know people think that because the water is cool that they're note as much risk to get burned. the water reflects the sun back at you. you're actually getting double the dose of the sun's raies. same thing with the sand. >> dluz continue to be a debate over sunscreen? is that still something that people are squabbling over? >> there are a couple of
different debates. on the nine side people wonder about lotion versus spray. spray you may not cover as much so maybe the location is better. then you get into vitamin d deficiencies. vitamin d, you need that to make your bones strong and also if you have low vitamin d, which most of us do you can get more muscle aches and pains. sun block blocks production to some degree so there's a controversy about that but the american academy of dermatology says that it is actually better to wear the sunscreen and maybe take supplements if you need them. >> lotion over spray. >> probably but it's not totally clear. >> and vitamin d pills if you're concerned. >> exactly. but the most important thing is to actually, you know remember to cover yourself up and be careful about the sun. and if you do get burned use cool baths moisturizer, drink fluids. and if you see anything dangerous like blisters call the doctor just to make sure, you know, you don't need additional care. >> dr. debbie thank you so
much. >> nice see you. >> you as well enjoy the holiday. >> you too. honoring the nation's bravest with a new postal stamp. just unveiled today recognizes the nation's most prestigious decoration. head of stamp services will be join us live with the details on that. and $1.2 trillion that's with a t, that's the nation's total outstanding student loan debt. tips for grads, parents, and college students on how to manage that crushing burden called student loans. first actor robert de niro sharinged a vier with nyu -- sharing advice with nyu grads. >> you're here to move on to a rich and challenging future. and me i'm here to hand out my pictures and resumes to the directing and producing graduates.
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in honor of memorial day, the post office is rolling out a brand new stamp today. it's a stamp commemorating veterans awarded the medal of honor for their service during the beneath nam -- vietnam war. last month marked the 40 years since the fall and over the course of that war, more than 200 members of the u.s. armed services were awarded the medal of army. with me mary-ann pinner stamp services for the u.s. postal service. good morning to you. >> good morning, craig, how are you this morning? >> i'm well. how long have these stamps been in the works? >> they've been in the works for about three years. it is the third in a series. i have a folio here. what this is we have three medal of honor stamps we have one of course for the army one for the navy which also handles the marines and the coast guard's during wartime, and today is the first day that we are actually having for sale the medal of honor for the air force.
so, this is what we call a stamp folio. it's four pages. it has the stamps. we have 24 stamps on it. and surrounding the stamps are actually 48 of the 54 living medal of honor recipients. ten of them will be with us today at our dedication ceremony on the mall. >> talk to us about what the process is like for a new stamp and how long it takes to get them published from conception to end. >> sure. basically any citizen or anybody can write into the u.s. postal service to the citizen stamp advisory committee. it takes about three years, and the committee meets quarterly and we get about 40,000 requests a year and we can only do 20 to 24 stamps a year. and the committee actually reads each research on each stamp submitted and they make a decision on which they would like to see and make recommendations to the general who makes the ultimate decision.
>> that's cool. i never knew that was the process that an average citizen can just petition and say you know what, this person deserves a stamp. when my father retired from the u.s. postal service two years ago, 41 years he was a mail clerk, one of the highlights growing up periodically he would come home and have a new stamp that you guys had just put out. is this a stamp that folks are going to be able to buy for the foreseeable future or is there an end date to its printing? >> absolutely. well, the stamp is for sale. today is the first day issued it'll be available at the dedication ceremony along were other offices that are open today. it'll be for sale nationwide tomorrow. the stamp is we only printed 30 million of these, so it is limited quantities but it is a forever stamp, and it can be used forever on your packages or your letters, and like i said it is the medal of honor, vietnam war. and it's the third in our
series. >> 30 million, that's a limited print. that seems like a lot. >> it is a lot, but the these are very special, and we want people to buy them and remember this piece of history. >> mary-ann pinner u.s. post office, thank you so much, i appreciate your time. >> thank you. msnbc cornell jack jacobs going to be on hand. i'll be talking to him coming up. oh the debt that you'll pay. congratulations, class of 2015 let's talk about the $1.2 trillion that you owe. we'll do that, next. there's some facts about seaworld we'd like you to know. we don't collect killer whales from the wild. and haven't for 35 years. with the hightest standard of animal care in the world, our whales are healthy. they're thriving. i wouldn't work here if they weren't. and government research shows they live just as long as whales in the wild. caring for these whales, we have a great responsibility to get that right. and we take it very seriously. because we love them. and we know you love them too.
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school last week. besides worrying about a job, college graduates are very worried about the mountains of student loan debt they'll have to pay off. check out this poll. 53% say student loan debt stresses them out the most. that's followed by credit card debt finding or maintaining a job, then rent then housing expenses. graduates more concerned about student loan debt than finding a job. jarrett bernstein, former top economic advisor to vice president biden, also the author of the new book "the reconnection agenda reunited growth and prosperity." always good to see you, sir, thanks for being with me. >> my pleasure. >> the plain spoken robert de niro. i don't want to beep him out but our producers made me. what are the job prospects for today's graduates? >> well they're pretty good and they're certainly a lot better for today's graduates than for today's non-graduates. if you look at the unemployment rate among college graduates, it's in the 2% to 3% range.
new college graduates, it's higher than that much lower than people without college degrees. this is an economy that values skill and graduates always have a much lower unemployment rate than folks who don't complete college. what they also have as you correctly pointed out is considerably more debt. on the other hand they have more earnings through which to pay the debt. so this is a tradeoff. most students will be able to manage their debt. of course there are going to be those who face high levels of debt, and that's problematic. >> i want to talk about the debt quickly here. why has the cost of college ballooned exponentially more than other sectors of the economy? what's behind it? what's driving the spiraling cost? >> it's a number of factors. it's a critically important question and, interestingly, it's not just that tuition is going up.
it's that tuition is going up more than income. so it's a relative question. the reason has a lot to do with some of the basic constraints on colleges especially the ones that are most demanding. that is you can't necessarily just like a factory improve your output by making more widgets per hour. there will only be more seats in a classroom you can fill. so part of it is just kind of a productivity constraint on colleges versus say, factories. but part of it seems to be just tuition inflation. there are more and more people in part based on the facts i was talking about earlier, the earnings premium for going to colleges is increasingly desirable. we've got more people and we don't have that many more quality seats in college so it's demand productivity con straunts and probably just basic inflation in there, too. there. >> there's more than a trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt in this country right
now. some say that may be a conservative estimate. what's the impact of that? >> i think it's important to realize for kids listening to us right now that the vast majority of graduates, at least 70%, graduate with debt and with non-trivial amounts of debt. the average debt holdings upon graduation are around $25,000. but only 4% of graduates have debts that are over $100,000. so they're the ones we worry about most. however, even though average amounts of debt given the income difficulties we've talked about are showing constraints on the economy. people with high levels of college debt are less likely to buy a home. they're less likely to buy a car. their credit scores typically aren't so great. so that's a constraint on the overall economy and it's one of the reasons you hear parents talk about boomerang kids who bounce back after college into that spare room. >> i graduated a while ago. i just finished paying off my student loan debt last year.
>> i feel you. yeah. myself as well and one of my daughters as well. >> jared bernstein, always learn something when you're on television, sir, thank you. coming up folks, we will continue our breaking news coverage of those severe storms that have wreaked absolute havoc on the mid-section of this country causing dangerous flooding in texas and oklahoma. deadly flooding in fact, in texas and oklahoma. and it would not be memorial day if we didn't talk about a little barbecue and a little beer. it's all about hops for heroes. it's a fantastic operation. we'll tell you about that and so much more ahead on this memorial day monday. stick around. my man amon on the other side of this break. the life behind it. ♪ those who have served our nation have earned the very best service in return. ♪ usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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when it's go, go to the new choicehotels.com. the site with the right room, rewards and savings up to 20% when you book direct. choicehotels.com good morning, i'm ayman mohyeldin. we begin with breaking news. parts of texas and the plain states are bracing for another round of soaking rain after a weekend of historic and deading flooding. hundreds of homes have been
destroyed by fast-moving floods. at least three people are dead and eight are listed as missing. among the victims, veteran firefighter jason farley was swept away by floodwaters in oklahoma. >> it's hard to imagine jason is not here. joining me now on the phone is the mayor of san marcos texas. sir, thank you for joining us. can you give us a sense of how big of a scope of a devastation is in your town at this point? >> what i can share with you is that this was the largest flood, most devastating flood in the history of our community. for san marcos itself we are kind of the -- anticipating roughly about 400 households that were destroyed, probably well more than that that were damaged. fortunately at least at this point we've only accounted for one casualty immediately in san marcos. i know there have been several others throughout hayes county
and over the last 24 hours first responders and a lot of other folks have been out doing assessmentings checking on damage, doing their best to account for as many people as possible throughout our community. >> mr. mayor you mentioned, in fact, that there is one person who is dead and there are several others unaccounted for. do you have a sense of the number of people unaccounted for out of those 400 homes have been being danned? >> what i can speak to is for san marcos. at most, a couple two, maybe three that are still missing according to folks that have reached out to us. certainly our communities to the west in weller bely are experiencing much more loss. so we're trying to work collectively as a region to be of support to all of our surrounding neighbors as well. there will be a group heading to inging to wemberley to get an update of
their needs and assessment but governor abbot is planning to meet with leaders to discuss next steps in regards to our request for fema funding. >> mr. mayor, thank you so much for san marcos texas. let's go to msnbc moll jilg gist -- meteorologist bill karins. bill, is there any letup in sight? >> after today. but first we have to get through today. this band that goes through areas of tennessee, this is what was over the top of oklahoma and texas over the weekend. that storm has moved out but this new batch is moving in. we have a severe thunderstorm watch box and you can notice up towards the lubbock area, these thunderstorms blew up in a hurry and now they're going to the north. midland, you're safe now. this area isn't flooded as badly as areas to the east but the problems is these storms forming out here those will trek across the region today. so we have flash flood watches
up that cover much of texas, much of oklahoma, much of arkansas actually, the entire state of arkansas, memphis and portions of shreveport. so this is all the people under flash flood watches for today where flooding is possible. the ground is super saturated. it won't take much to produce flooding. one to three inches widespread locally up to five inches. most rivers have crested. a few bigger ones the water is still collecting and will be peaking in the next day or two. in igs to the flooding threat we have a severe weather threat. we have this enhanced risk and, of course, this is the area that just got hit the hardest saturday. this is from san antonio to austin waco, to dallas. we could see isolated tornados and the potential for flooding and the timing on this ayman, looks to be about late to mid-afternoon. there's 3:00 p.m. today. a very strong line of storms to be approaching the fort worth and dallas area. it looks like another dangerous
evening areas from austin to dallas. >> can't wait for it to move faster than it is. thank you very much bill karins for that update. now to washington and the deteriorating situation in iraq. it's once again at the top of the agenda at the white house. a senior iraqi security official telling nbc news that iraq is ready to take ramadi back from isis. it could take place within the next 48 hours. this is coming adds defense secretary ashton carter is publicly reflecting the frustrations of the white house. >> the iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. they were not outnumbered. in fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. yet they failed to fight. they withdrew from the site and that says to me and i think the most of us that we have an issue with the will of the iraqis to fight isil and defend
themselves. >> chris jansing joins me now. chris, these were some of the administration's strongest comments that were directed towards the iraqi forces and, by extension, the iraqi government. >> no doubt about it ayman, those are the harshest words we've heard since the fall of ramadi coming from secretary carter. but you also have a flip side of that which is that the administration doesn't plan any changes to what has been basically a plan that is training and equipping those soldiers and also of course supporting them with u.s. and coalition air strikes. but it has provided by an opening for critics who say more needs to be done. the options as you well know ayman, cover a wide range, including republican members of congress who say many more troops need to go in thousands perhaps 10,000. that's not going to happen. there is a push even among democrats, for example, a veteran who represents hawaii who says we need to supply
equipment to more fighters including the kurds. also suggestions that maybe a more limited number of boots on the ground troops need to go to the front lineses who can provide intelligence and direct some of those air strikes. but the president was very clear on this just last week when he gave that interview the atlantic magazine. he doesn't think that we're losing and in fact ashton carter said if there is a time when he thinks there needs to be a change in strategy he'll recommend it but no indication he thinks that time has come. >> nbc's chris jansing live from the white house. thanks, chris. let me bring in msnbc military analyst and medal of honor recipient jack jacobs live at the vietnam memorial. colonel, let me start off with ashton carter's defense about iraqis losing the will to fight with reports iraqi forces are preparing to launch a major offensive to liberate ramadi. this real question is what are their chances of doings that if there isn't a will to fight in the first place? >> the forces in a are massed to
take ramadi back are not iraqi forces. they're shiite militia. and they're operating in an area that is a sunni stronghold. i think the chances are very good, indeed. but getting the objective is only part of the story: i've taken a lot of objectives most of the time been run off of them, because there's been insufficient forces to hold on. and holding on to the objective is what you need to do. so it's difficult to envision what happens if as and when the shi'a militias take this ramadi stronghold. how do they stay there? do they stay there? what happens if they do stay there? taking these objectives is not a long-term solution to what is -- seems to be an intractable strategic problem. >> isis has taken over two towns, palmyra in syria and ramadi. jeffrey goldberg said he doesn't think despite those two setbacks that we're losing the war
against isis would you agree with him or do you think the president needs a more honest assessment of what is happening on the ground. >> well we sfrirs to articulate what our objective is. in any military endeavor you're supposed to start and work backwards, what are you trying to accomplish? only then can you determine whether or not you're making progress. in my view i don't think the government has articulated what it is we're trying to do. and if you don't do that you can keep having some tactical success but you'll never achieve anything. >> let's switch gears a bit here colonel jacobs and talk about why you're at the vietnam memorial. we have a picture of a young jack jacobs from your days in the u.s. army and i want to you ask, sir, what does memorial day mean to you? >> well i'm standing in front of it. behind me the a wall with the names of more than 58,000 of my brothers and even somebody like me and lots of other people who
served in combat with these people, is the enormity of the lostz is lost on you until you stand in front of the wall and see all those names. it's startling. even if you spent time in the war and you lost friends, you don't have to look for their individual names but the enormity of the loss is apparent when you stand in front of it. i think about these people all the time not just on memorial day. and not just on veterans day. the service and sacrifice they made to all of us shouldn't be lost on anybody. we're here today. we're here everyday and we enjoy freedom because of the people whose names are on the wall behind me. >> colonel jack jacobs thank you, sir, very much for that. developing new, a security scare at the u.s. capitol. we've just learned a pressure cooker found in a suspicious
vehicle near the capitol, parked just blocks away from the memorial day concert was not hazardous. the bomb squad destroyed the pressure cooker, u.s. capitol police say the owner was arrested. he's identified as israel shamelis of alexandria virginia, and has been charged with "operating after revocation." 20% of the oil spill off santa barbara county has been recovered. msnbc's scott cohn joins me now live from santa barbara, california. scott, governor romney to you. what's the update on the efforts there? >> well the numbers are a little bit of a moving target ayman, now down to 101,000 gallons the pipeline company believes has been spilled in the worst-case scenario. so that's the down by 4,000 from what we thought a few days ago. that's positive. you mentioned a fifth of the oil has been recovered but a lot of that have is in the pipeline itself which they're draining
and trying to isolate the section that broke and figure out what the cause was. there's also some frustration about delays in getting to the wildlife that needs to be rescued here. in some cases reports it is taking hours to get to animals that are reported to be oiled. then offshore they're continuing to deal with oil in the kelp forests off the santa barbara coast. and at the same time officials say they've discovered a new oil slick about three miles long they're looking to determine whether that's related to the oil spill from last week. ayman? >> msnbc's scott cohn thank you very much from santa barbara. still ahead on this memorial day edition of msnbc live a top democrat comes to the defense of hillary clinton, calling the scrutiny against her benghazi e-mail "a witch-hunt." we'll have the details. plus, this summer is expected to be the busiest in air travel history we'll tell you where to find the best deals. as we honor the fallen we'll talk to a gold star father who lost his army son in iraq a
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and bottom line save more money. together, we're building a better california. welcome back everyone. hillary clinton is shying away from the public eye today. this morning, though she's back home at her family's house north of new york city. she'll march in a memorial day parade in a couple of hours. the storyline over her private e-mails dominated the sunday talk shows with a prominent democrat now coming to her
defense. >> what you have here with these e-mails is basically a witch-hunt. congressman gowdy who is leading this is intentionally trying to manipulate this witch-hunt to play politics. that's unfortunate. joining me is msnbc's alex seitz-wald. is there a shifting dynamic? are democrats starting to feel there won't be a smoking gun e-mail to the point they're comfortable enough to come out and defend hillary clinton? >> well i think a lot of democrats were probably comfortable there was no smoking gun for a long time. but for a while we weren't seeing them speaking out publicly and some of that was they were just being kept in the dark by clinton and they weren't sure how she wanted them to respond about they didn't want to get ahead of her or get off message. i had some complaints from democrats who said they wanted to defend her but they didn't know how. so this is definitely notable coming from julian castro one of the rising stars in the party, often talked about as a potential vice presidential pick. it's part of a much larger more aggressive response coming from
the clinton campaign. they've been online they've been putting more surrogates in the field and they're coming out swinging against the republicans on this now. >> and alex hillary is going to be heading the campaign trail, heading down south on wednesday. what can you tell us about that? >> well she makes her first trip to south carolina which is of course, one of the early presidential primary states, a state she lost in 2008 big time to barack obama. she'll be giving a keynote speech to a democratic women's group and holding another round table she's been doing with women and minorities small business leaders. then she heads to atlanta for a fund-raiser then off to florida for two days for more fund-raisers and a couple more public events. >> alex thank you very much for that update. let's switch gears and talk about the race for the white house. we're joined by nbc news political reporter leigh ann caldwell and hadas gold. leanne, what do you
julian castro coming in as an attack dog? >> julian castro and the clintons starting building this relationship in the summer and castro does have broader ambitions than being hud secretary. he left his job as san antonio mayor to come to washington to be in the cabinet to the a pretty anonymous position as head secretary, but it's a good springboard and platform to get to know the people in the town and to possibly move him into higher ambitions. and so in relationship between the two of them have been building. castro would be a good choice for clinton given that his popularity among hispanic americans and also his generational difference. he's only -- he's not even 40 years old. >> hadas, how was hillary clinton's week in terms of openness with recordersporters? she took two rounds of questions at two different events but i imagine there's still for questions the press wants
answered? >> if the press had it there way they would be asking her questions every moment everyday and she'd answer a question every time she walked by them. it was notable she finally had two press conferences after 28 days not answering a single question and the question she had answered before were not exactly full answers and so this was finally the first chance the very, very hungry press corps got to actually ask her some questions. so it was good. then we had these e-mails come out so friday most reporters across the nation were spending their day just going through these about 300 different e-mails talking about benghazi and it was really interesting insight into how she operates and how she treats the media within those e-mails. >> leigh ann, we know hillary is going to south carolina and georgia on wednesday. she had a bad showing there in 2008 2008. what does her southern strategy need to look like this time around? >> as far as south carolina is concerned, this was a monumental race for her in 2008.
this is the race that bill clinton offended many african-americans by attacking the way he attacked barack obama. but this time around in south carolina the deal with this state is that it's important for the primary for democrats but the democrats have no chance of winning this state in the general election so clinton is doing her due diligence. but what's more clinton doesn't really need south carolina. she probably won't have a huge nominating fight there, but south carolina democrats need clinton. that party is -- that democratic party is in shambles they're working to rebuild, losing a lot of white voters it's primarily a party of minorities right now and they're working to build that into a much broader base. so they need clinton more than clinton needs them right now. >> and hadas, it looks like the democratic field will expand again. martin o'malley is expected to announce his candidacy this
coming saturday. what is his candidacy going to do to the democratic party? >> he's trying to push hillary clinton to the left. he is actually having these behind close doors meetings with progressive activists in new york city and elsewhere trying to say elizabeth warren isn't running, i'm your next best thing to be the progress i candidate. he's trying to paint hillary clinton as not liberal enough. behind the scenes his team is trying to push to reporters that hillary clinton has been flip-flopping on gay marriage and under issues important to progressive that she won't be strong enough on the big banks, that she's too close to wall street so you should see him pushing that way. you'll see him do a gary hart type of presidential campaign. he's hoping to do what gary hart did in the '80s and come up on the scene and go from 2% up to the nominee. >> it only get mrs. exciting from here. leigh ann caldwell and hadas gold. thank you. up next scores of demonstrators set to appear in a
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new orleans police are looking for a person who shot and kill a housing authority police officer. it happened sunday morning blocks from the new orleans saints stadium. the 45-year-old was shot in his parole car while patrolling a construction site. there are no suspects so far. in just over 30 minutes from now, demonstrators arrested saturday night after demonstrations over the acquittal of officer michael brelo are expected to appear in court. 26 demonstrators were charged with misdemeanors. brelo was acquitted in the november 2012 deaths of two unarmed most wrists eded motorists. ohio governor john kasich praised demonstrators sunday on abc's "this week." >> i think the people of cleveland handled this.
they should be so proud of themselves and we should look at cleveland as a model. >> the department of justice, the u.s. attorney's office and the fbi say they will review the case. scott, what's the latest on what's going on. >> well you mentioned in about a half hour they'll open up cleveland municipal court on memorial day to get protesters in there so they can answer charges. some charges, they're all misdemeanors, include obstructing justice, aggravated rioting, unlawful congregation and failure to disperse. one thing interesting, if you look at where the protesters are from, they fear from the cleveland area. there had been concerns outsiders would be brought in to stir up trouble in cleveland but they are allel from the area. now, here at quicken loans arena where they had the cavs game there was concern about that. they had a heavy police presence but a few protesters closed an intersection not far from where we are. 70 cleveland police officers closed off traffic to that area.
that demonstration lasted about an hour and a half was peaceful then dispersed. there are no demonstrations that are planned for today, but tomorrow church leaders have called for a march to the justice center and we understand there will also be more demonstrations later in the week and i should mention that cleveland community leaders and church leaders have called for calm. lebron james of the cavaliers called for calm and pretty much that has been the case here in cleveland. a few skirmishes but no violence during these demonstrations. ayman? >> scott newel live from cleveland. thank you very much. just ahead on this day of remembrance, we'll talk to a father whose son was killed in in's in iraq nearly a decade ago and the woman breaking barriers in the military at 370 miles per hour.
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affairs. almost doubling their budget over those years and you continue to do that. we're here memorial day weekend. why was that so important to you? >> well it's so important because when we -- even before we had the majority we planted a flag for our veterans. is we all had veterans in our family. my brothers my uncle died at the battle of the bulge and that was part of the pride of our family. we owe veterans so much. and so we listened to veterans and said tell us your priorities and we'll try to do what we can. and, of course then when we took the majority we did. >> minority leader nancy pelosi talking to msnbc contributor army veteran and former congressman patrick murphy ahead of this memorial day as we remember the fallen including corporal james lee douglas bridges. corporal bridges was killed in action on november 4, 2006 in baghdad, iraq. joining me now from the vietnam memorial is doug's father matt bridges. good morning to you, sir. i wanted to start off by asking
you on this day, what do you remember most about your son on memorial day? >> mostly hiss free spirit. he was the glue that bound our family together and he had love for everybody. is always the central figure in every photograph he was in and this memorial day, like everyday in our lives, it's not just a day of sacrifice but a day of love love. i mean, it stated biblically there's no greater love than you who lay down your lives for others and that's the first thing dougie did. >> what do you tell parents that went through the same tragedy
you went through after your son's death? >> well, this is a lousy club to be in and really the first thing i tell them is it's okay to hurt. the hurt is a representation of that love and the hurt never really goes away but we get stronger and stronger each day. i've been super fortunate that the army hasn't left us out. i'm part of a survivor outreach service and i'm brought into a family of other gold star parents, gold star fathers, the fallen in this group -- you know others may not understand it but this group is truly bound together at the heart.
>> mr. matt bridges, thank you very much sir, for your service and we certainly on this memorial day thank you for your son's service and certainly this day our heart goes out to you and all the families who have lost loved ones. sir, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for this opportunity. and this memorial day marks a milestone for one of the navy's blue angels, the first female pilot to join their elite ranks. peter alexander caught up with her before their recent show in her hometown of annapolis. >> 150 clear. >> reporter: captain katie higgins has never come home like this. soaring low over annapolis. the marine corps captain and naval academy grad calls out commands. >> five, ten, roll it. >> reporter: in the cockpit. a pilot. part of his elite high flying gravity defying daredevils who perform stunts an arm's length
apart. but even for the blue angels this was a departure. with more than 250 men, blue angels have broken the sound barrier for decades. >> these hand-picked navy pilot are members of the crack demonstration team called the blue angels. >> reporter: while they've served in support roles, for women, the limit was the sky, until this angel got her wings. you're basically breaking the gender barrier at 370 miles per hour. >> well, you know, i didn't come to the blue angels to break any barriers or shatter glass ceilings. i just wanted to fly fat albert. >> reporter: this hulking c-130 hercules. just watch the hula girl and just wait for the landing. >> i think this team has been poised to accept a woman for many, many years now. we just needed to find the right person for the right job. >> reporter: from africa to afghanistan -- >> this is it. >> reporter: -- higgins has flown nearly 400 combat hours. if she feels the weight of the world, it's hard to see at zero
gs. i feel like i'm just another blue angel, i don't feel like i'm female. >> reporter: is there healthy competition with the guys? >> i think there is. it's like flying with my brothers. it's awesome. >> reporter: higgins was practically air born. her grandfathers flaw in world war ii and she followed her father, a naval aviator. >> it's a unique opportunity for my dad because he flew the f-18 hornet which is what our jet guys fly. >> he knows what 8 gs feels like? >> exactly. >> reporter: and while her plane doesn't leave trails higgins is blazing a path along the ground the girls that come up to you and say "can i say hi?" what does that mean? >> i this i you're awesome! i'd love to be a blue angel. >> reporter: now the next generation of women has an angel to look up to. that was nbc's peter alexander reporting from annapolis. coming up more than 220 million
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beer and memorial day, one of those things that go hand in hand for the unofficial start of summer. but an organization is using their passion for brewing beer to help families of those who served. it's called hops for heroes. every year a beer is created, 100% of the money made is donated to a charity. this year's charity will be soldiers angels, an organization that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the armed forces. joining me is christopher ray, co-founder of the center of universe brewing company. sir, thank you for joining us this memorial day. how did all of this start? >> so back in 2011 i was playing out in seattle and a good friend of mine is in the military and he was serving overseas and it
was one of those things where i felt like i need to be thankful for the life i'm living so i teamed up with free month eded up with freemont brewing company and we created it had ipa. we have to comb through applications and it's difficult. every charity that's supporting our military is great but we try to get ones that are more locally focused, ones that reach out to both troops abroad and families at home and soldiers angels spoke to us and how they offer support for both the family and the soldier. >> tell us about the beer. how good of a beer is it? >> it's great. it's -- we age the beer on louisville slugger maple bats. they donate the bats for that process and we add in fresh orange zest so it's a bright
vibrant citrusy yy ipa. >> how much have you raised since 2011? >> over $500,000. we pick up a couple breweries every year and try to increase the donation amount and we have three national sponsors in cargill, hops direct and crown beverage. all the money goes to the troops. >> if there's ever any reason to drink, it's certainly this charity. christopher ray, thank you very much for that and for what your organization is doing. >> thanks for having me. memorial day means millions of people will break out their grills today. a survey says 52% of americans plan to cook out or grill over the memorial day weekend. meanwhile, a new survey lists the top ten states to get it. topping the list tennessee and texas. obviously there will be debate about that. joining me now frank and kevin from the st. louis barbecue society. gentlemen, thank you for joining us. i have to start off by asking you, st. louis didn't make the
top ten destinations for barbecue but one restaurant did make it pappy's smoke house. did st. louis get shafted a bit? >> i tell you what pappy's bogarts, sugar fire salt and smoke, i would defy any city in the country to have as many quality barbecue restaurants as we have in a small vicinity like st. louis, missouri. >> i just did a little road trip through the south myself did barbecue tasting in mississippi and texas and tennessee. there's a big difference between dry rub barbecue and wet sauce barbecue. where does st. louis fit in on that? >> i always say we're in the middle. i call us st. louis sticky. you have more wet in kansas city, you have dry rub in memphis. and st. louis falls somewhere in between where we like a little sauce and you can see in the the dishes we've got prepared this morning. just a light glaze to give you the stickiness. that's the style i say we have. >> sweet and sticky in st. louis. >> so frank let me ask you, what
do you have there? what's on the table? >> it wouldn't be memorial day in st. louis if we didn't have pork steaks. they're indigenous to our area. if you're ever in st. louis, you have to try them. we have smoked turkey we've got st. louis style ribs. we've got brisket and then we've got the st. louis version of the juicy lucy where we're going to take the king of beers, budweiser, make a divot in that hamburger and stuff it with pork steak, cheese bacon, beautiful for memorial day and the family. the st. louis barbecue society just really helps folks take backyard cooking to the next level. that's what we're seeing across the country in this barbecue revolution. >> kevin, what shouldn't you barbecue, or is every food game? >> oh i think every food is game. one of the things i do on my blog extraordinary bbq, is we try to figure out a way to do it on the grill.
pineapple, different fruits. anything is game. i will say my wife and i disagree from time to time. i love the smokey flavor in anything whereas she says this may have been better served just to be prepared inside. >> gentlemen, thank you very much. we may give you the address to our study if you can send us those recipes, we'd appreciate it. >> i'd be glad to. up next making plans for the summer vacation. details on the best bargains three minutes from now, don't go away. ready to leave sticky sunscreens behind? new neutrogena cooldry sport. micromesh technology
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it's memorial day and that means we're for the midst of tornado season. my colleague at the weather channel, jim cantore, takes us inside the anatomy of a tornado like you've never seen before. >> we are going to show you the anatomy of a tornado. think about this we have all sorts of different sizes of tornados, right? you go from funnel clouds and weak tornados that you guys just showed to the f-5 that hit moore, oklahoma on this date back in 2013.
horrible day. a tornado starts with a supercell, a rotating thunderstorm. on these tornados there is one thing that clearly stands out, especially when we look at radar. it's called a hook echo. that's an appendage on the southern flank of the storm. we know these storms aren't flat. they're vertical 40 50, 60,000 feet. let's pull this thing up and look at it. when you look at this big rotating thunderstorm and as massive as it is look at what's going on down here. look at that tornado. so just a small part but the most violent part of that supercell is right there in that tornado. so let's lift the base of this and talk about tornado genesis. a lot of the research has gone into what kicks off the tornado from the supercell? well one thing stands out, you can see this when you're in the field. it's called a rear-flank downdraft when the upper level winds get caught come through the backside. if that rear-flank downdraft isn't super cold it can actually allow a tornado to form especially when you have on the eastern side that warm
moist air. so cool outflow on the backside you see the rotation going on and voila, we have a tornado. preceding a tornado there's another feature we have to talk about. it's a wall cloud. it's the base of the thunderstorm beginning to lower, tremendous violent motion sometimes these whole wall clouds are rotating. sometimes you just see the air coming up into the wall cloud. when the wall cloud produces a funnel and when the funnel is on the ground or not, when you see debris on the ground you know you have a tornado. and the debris cloud is the last place you want to be because within that you have trees, homes, cars and sometimes you have humans and that debris of course, is being rotated around the storm and eventually sentry centrifuged out. in some of the stronger tornados, we see common features around that immediate funnel. that is upward motion on the outside of that tornado followed by inward sinking motion on the inside. this is an amazing feat of
nature and no country in the world has more tornados than the united states. we average 1,300 per year. >> very impressive graphics. thank you meteorologist jim cantore. on to the memorial day mad dash. more than 37 million americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more when all is said and done this holiday weekend. a majority are travel by car thanks to lower gas prices. many others are hitting the skies which will be crowded not just over memorial day but for the summer. airline industry group airlines for america says it expects a record 222 million passengers to fly this summer. up that's up 5% but there's still time to grab a good deal and to talk about those deals and much more is expedia travel expert courtney scott. thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> let's start with this strategy. fly on off peak days. which days specifically? >> for example, for memorial day most of us will return from our vacations today but actually i
did a search on expedia and found you can save $100 off your flight by coming home tomorrow or even extending your vacation two or three days if you had the luxury to do that avoid peak travel days into the busy summer season. >> one of of the fees most people don't know about, things that run your ticket up more than normal. what do people need to know about ancillary fees? >> there are so many of them. not only for checked baggage which can be $25 up to $50. but also snacks on board, priority seating extra leg room. be aware and be loyal to your airline because elite status flyers don't have to pay. >> i am obsessed with loyalty programs. many i request to you is is it better to go with a loyalty program that could have a more pricey ticket? >> in the long run it pays off. you have to start continuing with one airline even if it's a higher ticket. >> here's another thing, i'm a big guy on social media. tell me a little bit about using
social media. how does that help consumers? >> airline, air carriers and travel companies are elise their sales to social media as the sale launches so you'll be one of the first people to find out about it. use hashtags, search for the destinations and deals you're looking for. you can track your price on expedia's tool called scratch pad which allows you to see the increase or decrease of the flight. so you gain that confidence to know you have a good deal. >> and you say one of the ways people can also save money is by booking bundles. that's buying tickets for several trips in advance? >> it's bundling your flight hotel, even car rental into one booking and it's the most cost effective way to shop for travel. >> when it comes to travel what are the pitfalls people make? common mistakes people make that can be costly? >> people tend to wait too long.
when you see a deal and you have confidence to know it's the best deal, book it. don't wait especially as we head into the peak summer season season. >> and where would you recommend people to go? >> the bahamas are on sale and on expedia you can book select vacation packages to the bahamas, four nights for a sale of $250 if you use the code bahamas $250. >> did you just give us that code. bahamas 250? >> and this is the summer to head to europe because the dollar is so strong. and there's a deal from jfk to milan for $853 a flight on klm. if you've shopped for flights to europe in the summer you know it's difficult to find a flight for under a thousand. >> i suspect going to the caribbean may be off season because it's so hot. do tickets generally reflect that when it's not popular travel season? >> it's a great idea to head to somewhere that isn't in its peak. that's why places like the caribbean or places that are in those high 80s or 90s might be the best way tow go. >> courtney scott, thank you
very much for that advice. coming up in our next story, deadly flooding devastating parts of texas and oklahoma with more rain expected for today. we'll take you tow the flood zone coming up after the break. plus a live report from washington, d.c. as the nation remembers the fallen on this memorial day. and we'll introduce you 3,500 pound great white shark popping up all along the jersey shore earning thousands of twitter followers. [ female announcer ] who are we? we are the thinkers. the job jugglers.
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a good memorial day monday. i'm craig melvin at 30 rock. we start with breaking weather news out of texas and the plain states. we are expecting an update from hayes county texas, officials next hour. at least three people are dead there in texas and oklahoma. eight people are still missing, they're bragscing for more rain after a weekend of devastating and deadly flash flooding. >> oh [ bleep ]. oh, my god! stop! he needs to get out! here we go here we go. >> some good samaritans helped rescue an elderly man from that suv you see being swept away by floodwater there is. nbc's gabe gutierrez has the latest from hayes county texas. gabe, has the water started to recede just yet? >> craig, good morning. the water is -- has been receding but today people are assessing the damage trying to figure out what to do next, this
river crested at more than 43 feet. as you mentioned, at least three people are confirmed dead in texas and oklahoma and today authorities are searching for eight people who are missing, including several children. this morning in texas, a crushing memorial day. hundreds of people waking up homeless. local officials calling this flooding historic and catastrophic. >> we do have whole streets that have maybe one or two houses left on them and the rest are just slabs. >> reporter: here withiin in wimberly one man survived but his wife and three children are missing. a wall of water lifted the home off the fun decontamination. the water reaches flood stage at 12 feet but it took one hour to crest at 43. wimberley. this water rose quickly unlike anything residents have ever seen. look where the desk ended up. all the way up in that tree. emergency workers raced to rescue trapped homeowners and
drivers. >> oh, my god! stop! he needs to get out! >> reporter: an elderly man was saved moments before a raging river swallowed his suv. but in oklahoma a hard breaking loss. captain jason farley, a veteran firefighter, drowned while trying to rescue people trapped by the flood waters. >> farley was a very good man. >> reporter: late sunday tornado warnings were issued for parts of kansas missouri iowa and illinois. >> devastating. >> reporter: back in texas, the damage assessment is just beginning. this small resort wiped out. >> when you walk down here you can tell it will take months to fix a lot of this stuff. >> reporter: here in wimberley, texas, residents say they've never seen anything like this. the residents are saying this damage looks more like a tornado hit here rather than a flood. an overnight curfew here just expired and the governor is set to tour some of this damage later today. back to you.
>> gabe utility gargutierrez, keep us up to date. bill karins msnbc meteorologist tracking the weather for us in new york. bill, any relief from sight for these folks? >> i'd say they're about 75% done with this event. but the last 25% i'm worried about today. if you're in texas, especially north texas, southern oklahoma it's just as dangerous today as it was two days ago unfortunately. here's the setup. here's the storms that are now in tennessee and mississippi. this is what was over the top and brought the weather you just saw. that's gone. the next storm is already here. we're already seeing strong storms between lubbock and san angelo around midland. this will turn into a severe weather event throughout the day. this area of red just upgraded from the storm prediction center. that's a moderate risk of severe storms so we have this incredible flooding risk today with these storms but the possibility of tornados and extreme wind damage along with them. so it's like you know the trifecta of concerns. also a few strong storms around omaha into wichita. it's this area of texas, this
orange is the enhanced risk, the red is the moderate risk and the bull's-eye right in the middle is the dallas-fort worth area. a der retch cho is possible. that's a damaging wind event. we get a lot of reports of 70 miles an hour plus winds we call it a derecho wind event. out ahead of that line we'll get a few supercell thunderstorms, those are the ones that produce tornados. so we have a tornado threat damaging wind threat and when those storms go through a flash flooding threat because the soil is super saturated and the rivers are super flooded and cresting as we speak and this won't help. so as far as flooding goes, flood watch covers almost all of east texas, most of oklahoma and a good chunk of the memphis area. one to three inches with this. the only good thing about these fast moving storms they don't usually sit over a location for a long time. that's why we don't think we'll have huge problems with flash
flooding today. for the people in the dallas-fort worth area, my computers are timing this around 3:00 to 5:00 when the worst will hit. that's in the middle of the afternoon, a lot of parades this morning, picnic this is afternoon in the texas area dangerous afternoon and evening on this memorial day. >> a word of warning from bill karins on this memorial day. bill, thank you. on this day, a live look right now at arlington national cemetery as we remember the fallen. over the weekend a group of veterans wrapped up a 2000 mile tribute that covered some 200 cities. it was called the carry the load tour. our own connell jack jacobs, a congressional medal of honor recipient himself has the story. >> reporter: it's a day meant to honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. >> i get asked all the time what am i thinking about on memorial day and it's not what everybody else thinks. parties are fine and getting
together with friends are fine but i think everyday what i think on memorial day and that's all the people i left behind. >> i think our greatest fear when we're fighting is in that no one will know if we fall like we'll be forgotten. >> reporter: clunti>> reporter: clint bruce's mission is to change that. >> when i came home after losing friends i saw the nation not remembering them well on the one weekend they were supposed to and i wasn't okay with it. i started walking on memorial day a few years ago and an older gentleman who i knew was a world war ii veteran and said "son, who are you carrying?" >> reporter: bruce, a former navy seal launched "carry the load. load." >> i'm carrying the load for my grandpa who served in the vietnam war. >> i spent five years in the military so i'm carrying my wife who put up with that. >> i'm carrying the load for my dad, my uncle, and my great uncle. >> the national relay began last month at west point.
>> i'm doing this for friends and family and the forgotten men and women that have died. >> reporter: people of all ages walking miles at a time. >> i'm walking for my comrades in desert storm. >> i am carrying 75 pounds to represent the fallen knights. >> we're carrying for sergeant dickie. >> reporter: even the water in annapolis didn't stand in their way. dubbed memorial may, the non-stop relay spans some 2,000 miles passing through 200 cities and towns. and wrapped up in dallas on sunday. more than 15,000 people participated. >> i'm carrying for sergeant first class elizabeth davidson. >> it's an opportunity to reconcile a nation and an opportunity to walk alongside and say hey, what you did matter mattered mattered. >> reporter: it reminds us of lincoln's sermon at gettysburg, that it's for us, the living, to be dedicated to the unfinished
work of the fallen. >> colonel jack jacobs joins me now from the vietnam memorial. colonel, thank you for sharing that story. who do you carry? >> all those people i left behind. not only the people with me in combat in the crucible of war but also all those with whom i served before they went overseas and were killed in action and if you think about it you think back to those people who sacrificed before us who gave us the freedom we enjoy today in the wars previous to vietnam. i'm carrying for them too. >> colonel, over the years from your perspective, how has memorial day changed? how has it evolved? or perhaps devolved? >> devolved is the right word. i grew up after the second world war. all the men in my neighborhood served when i was growing up. i had friends who had no fathers or fathers with missing bits and
pieces because they served in the second world war. the war was very close to us informs our neighborhood. everybody served. over the years on memorial day we thought about all those who didn't come home. but since that time of course we've gotten a little bit more comfortable and as a result we've gotten more complacent. and now that we don't universal service, we have a small number of young people who have decided to defend the 300 million of us we're very much distant from maumd and memorial day has been something of a time to celebrate, relax with friends and family that's fine but we have to remember people who brought us here in the first place. >> colonel jack jacobs congressional medal of honor recipient. i'll be spending time with you during our 11:00 hour. it's become a bit of a ritual on msnbc. we will be carrying the laying
of the wreath during our 11:00 hour. thank you, sir. thanks for your time and thanks as always for your service. let's head west where the sun is just starting to rise in santa barbara on this memorial day. the new day out bring us in developments on the southern california oil spill. officials say they have recovers about one-fifth of the more than 100,000 gallons that gushed into the pacific, fouling up nine miles of the coastline there. msnbc's scott cohn remains in santa barbara county california, for us this morning with the latest. scott, somehow the recovery? how's the cleanup going? >> they've made a lot of progress, craig. as you can see, it's just after sunrise, it should be a beautiful memorial day and a time where the state beach would be feeling up with tourists with people ready to enjoy the holiday. instead it's filling up with workers yet again and a recovery effort that's almost a week long now. they have made progress.
they've collected tons and tons of debris as well as the oil itself, thousands of gallons and they're making some progress at the site of the spill where the pipeline broke last tuesday in terms of getting that broken pipeline excavated to find out what was the cause of this. they still don't know that they've downgraded the amount of oil that was spilled. you saw that number, 101,000 gallons. that's about 4,000 less than they originally thought. that's a good sign. they're investigating a new oil slick that appear offshore late yesterday to see if that is related and they're looking for volunteers to help in a recovery effort that will continue well into next week and beyond. >> scott cohn thank you. coming up, a memorial day parade with a campaign twist. former secretary of state hillary clinton expected to appear at a local parade in chappaqua in westchester county new york not far from here. we are live there for one of her
first public appearances since thousands of pages of her private e-mails were made public friday. also, the stories of our soldiers on this memorial day. we'll take you live to the national mall to speak with veterans reminding us all why we commemorate this special day. here at friskies, cats are in charge of approving every new recipe. because it's cats who know best what cats like to eat. up today, new friskies 7. we're trying seven cat-favorite flavors all in one dish. now for the moment of truth. yep, looks like it's time to share what our cats love with your cats. new friskies 7. for cats. by cats.
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it's going to be a busy week in the race for president. the number of official candidates is expected to expand on both the democratic and the republican sides this week. hillary clinton will be making her first trip to the south as an official 2016 presidential candidate. she'll be in south carolina wednesday. joining me from chappaqua, msnbc's alex seitz-wald.
hillary clinton, is she resting at home today or will she be out on the local stump in chappaqua? >> she will be out in public today, craig. just about an hour behind me they'll be lining up for the memorial day day parade and she will be marching in it. this is something she's done almost every year since she and bill clinton moved here in 1999. of course the eight years she was a senator from new york and actually we just happened to see the famous scooby van and some secret service vehicles being washed in the car wash behind me here. so they're getting spiffy ahead of the parade and i talked to locals here. they say they see bill clinton all the time at the starbucks down the street at the walgreens, over here walking the dogs and you see hillary clinton a little less, she's been busy being secretary of state but this is the tradition that grounds her in this town. >> sara ever since we got that batch of e-mails on friday how has mrs. clinton weathered the storm? >> she's sort of kept to the same tactic she's been taking
this entire time which is to sort of stay away from answering these questions with substantive answers as some of her critics have said. she sort of has been dodging the press. but we did see her engage with reporters for the first time this week which put an end to those criticisms that she was being overly evasive. we might see her come out with some more substantial defenses in the coming days. >> alex martin o'malley reportedly expected to join the democratic primary later this week. are the clinton campaign folks even paying attention to that? >> that's right. he's going to get in on saturday in baltimore with a big rally outside. going to be the third contestant to get in on the democratic side. so far i have not heard anything the clinton campaign about this or any other candidate. . they are trying to keep their heads down running their own campaign ignoring everybody even though everybody else has to talk about her non-stop.
so with martin o'malley he's seen as a more credible challenger, former governor former chairman of the democratic governor's association. still lagging in the polls. stuck at 1%. if he does they'll pay more attention to him. >> a lot of folks don't even know who he is. any word on what hillary clinton's going to be doing in south carolina later this week? >> her first trip to south carolina, a state she lost big time to barack obama in 2008. she'll be giving a keynote speech to a democratic women's group and holding one of these round tables typical of what she's been doing so far in her campaign with women and female business owners down there. >> sara, the gop primary also expected to grow this week. you've got rick santorum who's reportedly getting in rick perry reportedly getting in lindsey graham senior senator from south carolina says he want wants to be president, too. at what point do leaders of the gop say "enough. enough already"?
>> you're sortover starting to see that happen already. you see that reflected in the fact that fox news is cutting the debates off at 10. they're trying to keep what happened in 2012 from happening again which is having an overly crowded field go after each other instead of focusing on the democratic opponent. but both rick perry and rick santorum will face challenges in that they don't excite the conservative base the way these first-time presidential candidates do so their announcements aren't generating as much excitement as say, rand paul's did or ted cruz's did and what we expect scott walker and jeb bush's campaign announcements to do when those happen later in the summer. >> not to mention at some point you just can't get excited anymore. if you've been excited six times you can't get excited 14 more. sara westwood alex seitz-wald thank you both, enjoy the holiday. >> you, too. after the break, a closer look at this. that's mary lee. she's an internet star. she's a 16-foot shark, she's
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the investigation into the brutal murder of a family of three and their housekeeper continues today. the suspect, daron wint, is in custody, but officials are still trying to figure out if he could have done it by himself. this morning, investigators want to know did suspect daron wint act alone or were others involved in the horrific murder of three members of the savopoulos family and their housekeeper. >> it would have been very difficult for wint to have done this alone. >> reporter: investigators believe the victims were held captive for more than 19 hours shortly after a $40,000 ransom was paid they were killed. according to unsealed court records, investigators say the crimes required the presence and assistance of more than one
person. >> it would have been difficult to control four different people three adults and a child. it would have been difficult to get to the house, get in dispose of one of the victims' vehicles. >> reporter: 34-year-old wint who appeared in court friday has been charged with murder after police say his dna was found on pizza crust that was left in the room where the three adults were murdered. a law enforcement official tells our new york station wnbc authorities tracked cell phones connected to wint following his movements from washington, d.c. to brooklyn, new york, where this surveillance video shows part of the manhunt. the "new york daily news" reports according to authorities wint took a taxi from new york back to d.c. paying $1,000 in cash from the $40,000 ransom which has not been confirmed by nbc news. wint was taken into custody thursday along with five other individuals who have not been identified and were released. one of the reasons law enforcement would not keep them in custody is you would like them to talk.
you would like them to be out in the community. you would like them to be bragging. >> reporter: court documents also reveal a witness who says they saw an individual driving the family's porsche before it was later found torched. describing seeing a man with short hair driving erratically, adding to the confusion, the court papers also reveal an assistant who worked for mr. savopoulos had "lied" to them about when and how the $40,000 in ransom was delivered. that assistant has not been charged leaving the investigation far from over. >> our work is not done. we'll continue to investigate this case and bring all charges that are appropriate in the coming weeks. >> daron wint is expected back in court on june 23. we move out west now. santa barbara deals with the cleanup of a nine-mile-long oil spill, to the south they're dealing with another menace sharks. that's prompted several warnings as we hear. >> reporter: more than a dozen great whites have been spotted swimming and feeding about 50
feet from shore in huntington beach. >> i think i'm going to stay out of the water. >> reporter: they're juveniles, most about five to seven feet long, just like jeffrey jacobson. >> i'm six feet. >> reporter: it's you sized. >> yes. >> reporter: jeffrey sized. >> yes, but with bigger teeth. >> it's jeffrey sized. here on the east coast a tagged one and a half ton great white named mary lee has become a social meet ya sensation tweeting every time she surfaces. right now she's apparently off the northern virginia coast. i'm joined by the associate professor of biology at the university of north florida. let's talk about these shark sightings in broad terms, first of all, these shark sightings on the west coast. are they cause for concern? >> they're really not cause for concern, craig. it's interesting that you bring up the west coast because we know a lot about the white sharks on the west coast and, in fact, the area where the juvenile sharks were seen is no surprise what we refer to as a juvenile nursery.
so it's an area where the young sharks are regularly found. that's where they regularly occur. that's where they feed until they grow up and become sexually mature and start to reproduce and contribute to the population. so we're aware that they're supposed to be there and sharks in the water. >> we've been checking out the shark tracker online. we can pull it up for you here as we mentioned. there's a great white named mary lee getting lots of attention, apparently. what can researchers learn from tagging these sharks? from tracking their movements? >> well, this kind of links up with what we talked about here about the west coast. we know a lot about white shark movement on the west coast. we know very little about it on the east coast. in fact, we really didn't have the opportunity to study these animals on our coast for a while. more recently we have this growing seal population off of cape cod so there's been this regular food source for the white sharks. now they've become more reliable to go out and tag and by tagging
the animals we can learn a lot more about their movement patterns here on the east coast. it's the first time we've been able to do this and mary lee and her sisters have shown us a lot about white shark movement up and down our coast. >> who names these sharks? how do we get mary lee? >> mary lee has four sisters, there's mary lee, jeannie, lydia, betsy and catherine. mary lee in particular was named after ocearch expedition leader chris fisher's mother. and the ocearch is a group that primarily names the sharks. >> those are friendly names for great white sharks. >> absolutely. >> james, thank you so much. have a great holiday, sir. >> you, too. thank you, craig. here's a live look at a world war ii ceremony under way in our nation's capital. up next it's a busy morning for the president and the vice president. both of them participating in memorial day ceremonyies later on that. also, a special story of an american story coming to us live
from the national mall. but first another live look at a beautiful, calm and so far empty cape may beach in new jersey. that won't be the case in a few hours. you have to stay tuned to see if it made the cut as one of america's top beaches. i am totally blind. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com. why weigh yourself down? try new aveeno® sheer hydration.
a live look on this memorial day at arlington national cemetery and the tomb of the unknown soldier. president obama will be leaving the white house shortly heading to arlington where he will be laying a wreath at 11:00 a.m. before delivering remarks. we will bring those remarks to you live on msnbc. chris jansing, senior white house correspondent, joins me now. chris, what did the president do this morning? >> right now he's at breakfast. it's closed but it's with gold star mothers, veterans members of military service organizations, the tragedy assistance program a group of people who have served their country, whose family members have served their country and
lost their lives in service. and this is something that this presidents and every president takes extremely seriously and very emotionally as the time that they spent with these -- spend with these veterans particularly on a day like today and as you mentioned, when the breakfast is over, the president will be heading over to arlington for what is an annual tradition for the commander in chief. we got a preview from what we will hear from him in his weekly address when he talked about this being the first memorial day since the end of the war in afghanistan but reminding us of the 2200 men and women who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom and even telling very personal stories about them including the last two service members who lost their lives in afghanistan. so i think while this is a tradition for all of us and for many of us it involves perhaps picnics and for many a day off and a time perhaps, to spend with family we will hear the
president today reminding us this is memorial day and a time for us to focus on the sacrifices made by others so we can live in freedom, craig. nbc's chris jansing for us chris, thank you so much. we'll come back in our next hour. on this memorial day, as we pay tribute to all of the veterans who have served and those we have lost we remember staff sergeant leroy alexander, killed in action june 3, 2005 in afghanistan. i'm privileged to be joined now by the staff sergeant's widow major marisa alexander and the twins as well aaliyah and avery. major alexander, how do you remember your husband on this memorial day? >> typically what we do on memorial day we get together as a family and just try to remember the good times that we had with him. just those things that we are so thankful that he took the time to be with us but also that he
gave his life for us to have a future future. >> what what was he like? what was leroy like? >> how can i describe him? he was very charismatic, great sense of humor, just funny, well liked by all his friends and fellow comrades. athletic guy. we were together since high school so just somebody i wanted to emulate as a soldier and i always looked up to. >> the twins, i understand they were born after their father's death. what do you tell them about his service to our country? >> i said that -- i tell my kids about their father that don't be sad for daddy because he did what he wanted to do. he served his country and that
he wanted to protect the nation and he died a hero. >> you obviously still serve today. how hard was that for you to continue to serve in the military after losing him? >> many of my counterparts, my fellow woodsters on active duty they do leave service but for me the institution of the army was something that wasn't going to change. at a time when everything seemed so up in the air, i knew i could rely on the army. it gave me a support system. it's a culture that knows how to take care of their own and i'm so grateful for the opportunity to still serve. that's really what it's about. >> major alexander, we remember your husband today and we thank you for your sacrifice and your continued service as well.
>> thank you. now to memorial day travel. 37 million -- 37 million -- that's the number of americans hitting the road over this memorial day weekend. millions more will also be traveling by plane. aaa says more than 2.5 million leisure travelers are taking to the skies over the holiday. that's up 2.5% from last year. that increase is expected to extend into the summer. the airline industry group airlines for america forecasting a record 222 million passengers will fly this summer. that's up nearly 5% compared to last summer. seth kaplan is a managing partner at airline weekly. seth, it's certainly not because ticket prices have dropped dramatically. what's behind the surge? >> really it's the improving economy and really the lower gas prices which, let's face it it's almost like a stimulus for all of us putting more money into our pockets and that ironically helps bid up the price of air travel. a lot of people say why haven't
fares fallen because of lower fuel prices? part of the explanation is we all feel a little bit richer so we all want to travel and with not a lot of extra supply and all of us wanting to travel supply and demand fares citying right now and lots of people traveling. >> so you have fuller flights. fuller flights means if your flight gets canceled or you miss a connection there aren't as many empty seats to grab on the next flight. what do you do then? >> exactly. it's a myth. people think things are more lakely to go wrong on a holiday weekend. it's not that they're more likely to go wrong, but when they do go wrong, exactly. not as many empty seats to compete for. so if you're at the airport today, particularly a place like dallas-fort worth where we heard in bill's forecast maybe bad weather later today. if your flight is canceled and the gate agent says go over to that line over there with your other passengers, do that. but all the airline also.
whatever you can do to get through to the airline as quickly as possible gives you a better shot. and when you're talking to that agent, whether it's at the airport or on the phone, be creative. tell them if you don't mind using a different airport. if you're supposed to fly to laguardia and your flight is canceled but you don't mind going to jfk or newark tell them. they won't assume it. whatever you can do to help them help you basically, craig, will give you a better shot. >> and, seth scoring last-minute deals for flight this is summer. any still throughout? are there best web sites or anything? >> you know fares still rather high and that will change later this year. airlines starting to add more supply and that will help push down airfares. one thing to keep in mind for this summer when the fares are still rather high is that the dollar is very strong. so if you look at a fare to europe, south america, to japan, even if the fare it doesn't look lower, once you get there it
will be cheaper. so a good year to travel abroad if you've been thinking of doing that. >> seth kaplan thank you, sir, do appreciate you. >> thank you, craig. >> still ahead on msnbc live price gouging? >> i asked for a hot dog and dr. pepper, $30. i was like you're joking right? >> no joke buddy. 30 bucks for a hot dog and soda coming up. jeff rosson has the details on some tourist price gouging at new york's ground zero. also if you're planning a vacation to the shore, our expert reveals his picks for the best beaches in america.
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and soda to a tourist for 30 bucks. take a look. >> reporter: it's a new york staple. >> classic. >> reporter: hot dogs from the cart. but wnbc's melissa russo got a hot tip -- complaints that this hot dog vendor is gouging tourists near ground zero. look his cart is just under the new freedom tower. i send in my producer kevin undercover to buy a hot dog. >> hot dog with mustard. how much? >> $3. >> reporter: three bucks, normal price. he's a new yorker. watch what happens when this man with a french accent walks up. >> how much? >> $15. >> sorry? >> $15. >> how much? >> $15. >> reporter: he can't believe it. 15 bucks. >> how much is the interpret schnell. >> this is seven, this is five. >> reporter: okay wait seven for the pretzel, five for the hot dog, that doesn't even equal 15. the math is wrong. >> i said are you crook? of course he gave me a very
steep discount. i finally paid $8 for everything. >> reporter: but the ground zero vendor isn't done yet, breaking the bank with this next customer. >> i asked for a hot dog and a dr. pepper. $30. i was like you're joking right? >> he says he left three bucks and the half eaten hot dog before walking away. city regulations say all vendors have to post their prices but we don't see any prices here. now the city opening an official investigation into the vendor. when you hear this vendor is charging different people different prices within a minute or two of each other, what do you make of that? >> that's patently illegal. >> reporter: jeff rossen with nbc news. time to chat with the hot dog guy. why are you charging different people different prices. >> i don't -- sorry, i don't know. no speak english. >> reporter: you charged some people $5 some people $15. how do you pick your prices? is it based on the way they look? the way they sound? >> no speak english, sir.
bye. >> reporter: you speak some english. people ordering hot dogs and pretzel every few minutes here. >> no speak english, sir. >> reporter: not good enough for the new york city police commissioner, calling it shameful. >> it's a classic new york story, overcharging even for a hot dog. with 56 million tourists in the city, we want to protect them and shame on him. >> after the vendor was caught gouging his customers, nypd officers questioned the vendor and they issued him three tickets, including the failure to list prices ticket plus the owner of that food cart fired the vendor. millions of people flocking to the beach this memorial day. a live look at cape may, new jersey, where we see some umbrellas popping up there. before you make your summer plans, you may want to check out the top ten beaches of 2015. here they are. topping the list.
i've been to beach walker park, that's a fantastic beach, i can atoast that. steven leatherman also known as dr. beach, also a director and professor of coastal research at florida international university. dr. beach is a much better nickname nickname. what makes these beaches so special? why are they on the list? >> people are looking for clean water, clean sand and beyond that, the views and, of course, my survey is for swimming beaches so the water has to be warm and good beach weather. >> the bay in hawaii is the best beach in america? >> yes. it's the bay beach park. there's a whole strand there about five miles long, there's bellows beach and other beaches. but this beach has life guards shallow water, beautiful turquoise color, clean, clear, idyllic spot. the only thing i can say is
don't wade too far offshore because it gets deep but they have a lifeguard, it's a safe beach, restrooms, plenty of parking, free parking. >> you can't beat free parking. there's an ongoing debate. i'm from south carolina i move up north, people rave about the beaches up north. there's nothing like a beach in the south in my opinion, south carolina beaches are among the best in n america in my opinion. what say you? is there a state that boasts the best beaches? >> well south carolina the ones on the list as you know an area called beachwalker park on kiawah island. it's great for swimming really safe. the only thing is the water isn't clear there. it's clean but not clear. some people don't like that and discount that. but still this is such a superb area. like you say, hilton head island, great area great beaches in south carolina. the strand.
but i guess really the survey kind of prefers or selects hawaii and florida beaches because it's clean, clear water, you can swim pretty much year round and it's hard to beat that. people like to see their toes. >> what's the best beach not on the list? >> well i've retired. this is the 25th year i've before doing this. so all the number one baches are retired and become national winters so there's kapalua bay beach in maui. a great beach. it's just a small pocket beach you can wade out and by the time your feet can't touch the bottom you're in coral reeves with tropical fish everywhere. but not everybody's got a ticket to hawaii so my favorite beach is cape florida, it's only 30 minutes from my house in the miami area i can drive there, very peaceful park. it's also on the list of the top ten. >> what's the crappiest beach?
>> well okay the problem -- there is a beach and i won't say much about it but there's a beach on the mexican border where the tijuana river flows to it and, you know san diego's done a lot to try to intercept that sewage and stuff but it's coming from another country and this is kind of hard so the beach is used for basically riding horses around. you wouldn't swim there. >> dr. beach, steven leatherman thank you so much sir. >> my pleasure to be with you. >> up next strap on your seat belts, new for a wild ride. we're going to look at the must-see movies of the summer next. ♪ if you're looking for a car that drives you... ...and takes the wheel right from your very hands... ...this isn't that car. the first and only car with direct adaptive steering. ♪
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poltergeist and avengers age of ultron. so the weekend numbers were a bit of a disappointment is that right? >> yeah really not that great. the george clooney movie did come in number one, but below expectations. $32 million, probably about $41 for the four-day weekend, but compare this weekend it made about $150 million weekend total this memorial day weekend compared to 2013 when it made $254 million for the whole memorial day weekend, though that was fast and furious and hangover 3, but really kind of a disappointing memorial day weekend. >> one of the most anticipated movies this summer is jurassic world, the latest in the jurassic park series. take a look. >> we have our first genetically modified hybrid. >> just went and made a new dinosaur? >> probably not a good idea.
>> evacuate the island. she's a highly intelligent animal. she will kill anything that moves. >> oh god. >> this is one of our movies we should note. we want to disclose that comes out june 12th. what are the early reviews, kim in. >> not a good idea but a very good idea. not a good idea to have this new attraction at this theme park but a good idea to see this movie. look at this clip anyone watching this wants to see this movie. takes place 22 years after the original nalal jurassic park but yeah, very excited to see this. >> entourage is another highly anticipated movie. i love the series. here's a clip from the movie. ♪
>> open the door! >> vinny, what's the matter, girlfriend lock you out? >> no my girl. >> he's crazy. >> i'm crazy. >> based on the highly popular, wildly popular hbo series of course. are fans going to like this movie? >> i think so. if you loved the tv show you're going to love this. all the old characters are back ari gold is not an agent anymore, he's running a studio. everyone is back then of course, they have all the cameos, which is what people loved about the tv show. you had all the great cameos and you're going to see that again with liam neeson jessica alba gary busey, mark wahlberg so all these people playing themselves in the movie, playing heightened versions of themselves. that's what made entourage the tv show fun and going to make the movie fun, too. >> kim, enjoy the holiday.
thank you. >> thanks, you too. coming up we'll have the latest on what officials are calling a historic flood in the south that's already claimed at least three lives. eight folks still missing there. more rain expected for texas today. we'll go there, also head to arlington national cemetery a live look right now where president obama will soon be laying a wreath this morning. all that and much, much more right after the break. guys, it's just the two of you. the setting is just right. but here's the thing,
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good morning, everyone. catastrophic weather in the southern plains has forced at least 2,000 people to flee their homes. any minute we're expecting an update in hayes county texas, where the severe flooding is being called unprecedented. at least three people dead and eight missing, among them three children under the age of 10. emergency officials say the
flooding in hayes county has damaged or destroyed at least 400 homes. the heavy rainfall swelled the river to historic levels trapping residents, knocking out power to thousands. texas governor greg abbott is planning to tour the storm damage in the next hour. gabe gutierrez reports. >> reporter: ayman, the flood waters have receded a bit, but today residents are cleaning up the damage and trying to figure out what's next. so far three confirmed deaths in texas and oklahoma and today authorities are searching for eight people still missing, including several children. this morning in texas, a crushing memorial day. hundreds of people waking up homeless. local officials calling this flooding historic and catastrophic. >> we do have whole streets that have maybe one or two houses left on them and the rest are just slabs. >> here in wimberly one man
survived, but his wife and two children along with five other people, are missing. they were staying in a house saturday night when a wall of water lifted the home off its foundation. the river reached flood stage at 12 feet but it took just one hour to crest at more than 43. this water rose quickly, unlike anything residents here said they'd ever seen. look where that desk ended up all the way in that tree. >> emergency workers raced to rescue trapped home owners and drivers. >> oh my god! he needs to get out! >> an elderly man was saved moments before a raging river swallowed his suv. in oklahoma a heart breaking loss captain jason farley a veteran firefighter, drowned while trying to rescue people trapped by the flood waters. >> he was a very good man. >> reporter: late sunday tornado warnings were issued for kansas missouri, iowa and illinois. back in texas, the damage assessment is just beginning.
this small resort wiped out. >> when you walk down here you can tell it's going to take months to fix a lot of this stuff. >> reporter: residents here in wimberly say this is unlike anything they'd ever seen. they say some of this damage looks more like a tornado than a flood. there was an overnight curfew here and later today the governor is scheduled to tour some of the damage. ayman? >> that devastating weather now is moving eastwards. meteorologist bill karins is here with the forecast. how's it looking? >> not looking good. another very dangerous day in north texas, especially southern oklahoma. already have severe thunderstorm warnings out here mostly rural sections of west texas, a few strong storms here just to the west of the san antonio and austin areas, but all of this mess is eventually going to head over towards the east. these storms are going to be racing this afternoon, they are going to form a line of pretty strong storms that are going to have wind damage possible maybe a few tornados and they are going to head right for the dallas-ft. worth area late this
afternoon, into this evening. we have about 33 million people at risk of severe weather, they are the ones in norman oklahoma, that tell us where everything will be each day. little around omaha, topeka northern kansas city area down to wichita, but as far as oklahoma and texas go this is where by far the worst of the weather will be. traveling across the straight if it turns out as bad as we think it will be a wind event that goes 240 miles or longer with damaging wind all along the pass. some of that could look just as bad as tornado damage. tornados are possible out ahead of that line in addition to the heavy rain with these storms on top of the saturated ground. here's the timing 4:00 p.m. the dallas-ft. worth area getting these storms late in the afternoon, so keep that in mind for your outdoor plans, dallas-ft. worth southwards, down to waco even austin san antonio, a few storms but the concentration looks greater further north, then the storms
will plow into areas of arkansas and northern louisiana, shreveport possibly, little rock by 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. in other words, this will be an event that will start this morning and go right through the day. flood watches almost all of oklahoma, all of texas, all of arkansas and a little section here of west tennessee. one to three inches with these storms. fast moving flooded already, so one to three inches makes it worse and the rivers that have crested will get a new surge of water, too. most of the rivers will complete their crest over the next two days, then go down from there as we begin to dry it out. predicting anywhere between one to three inches pinks are possibility of four to five south of dallas. we have it all, trifecta today, chance of a few tornados very significant wind damage event, on top of that more flooding. a very rough weekend in texas, hopefully it will dry out throughout the week. >> hopefully so. thanks for that. in the next hour president
obama will mark memorial day for solemn ceremonies. the president will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns, then speak in the adjoining amphitheater. meantime, the battle against isis is front and center and we're learning iraqi forces are preparing a major offensive to retake ramadi from isis. a senior military official says that offensive could begin in the next 48 hours. this comes after defense secretary ashton carter laid the blame for the fall of ramadi on the iraqi military after video showed its troops fleeing isis advances. >> the iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. they were not outnumbered, in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight, they withdrew from the site and that says to me, and i think to most of us
that we have an issue with the will of the iraqis to fight isil and defend themselves. >> joining me now live from the vietnam memorial is medal of honor recipient for his heroic actions in the vietnam war, jack jacobs. thank you very much for joining us. stinging criticism from the u.s. defense secretary about a supposed iraqi ally and that is the military. what's your reaction to defense secretary carter's remarks? >> well it's pretty forthright but i think it tells the truth. we've known a long time the iraqi military though we've given them lots of equipment and training they are not highly motivated to fight. the leadership in baghdad has been and continues to be terrible, so there's no focus on fighting for iraq. the only people who look like they are interested in fighting in the area are shia militias. this is a heavily sunni area so even if the shia militias are
successful in going back into ramadi and other areas in anbar, i don't see how they are going to be able to hold on to it. at the end of the day, taking the objective is one thing. holding on to it is something altogether. it remains to be seen how successful this operation will be. ayman? >> let me ask you, is there a way to instill will power in the iraqi army? they've melted away in mosul, now given territory in places like ramadi. can you actually give them will power? >> we can't do it but ironically the only way it can be obtained or forged is if there's a really strong leader at the central government. we haven't seen that since the leader we deposed over there. it's difficult to envision how the country is going to hold together with varying factions trying to vie for control of their specific areas. no it takes leadership and it's
going to have to take really forceful leadership and we can't do that for them. >> there's a growing debate here in this country whether the u.s. needs to change its strategy in the fight against isis after it lost it to ramadi and the ancient city of pul her. let me play what senator john mccain said yesterday focusing on the continued u.s.-led air strikes against isis. >> if you don't have the right strategy air power is minimal in its effect but we need to have forward air controllers, we need to have special forces more of those kind of raids that were so successful into syria. we need to have a strategy. there is no strategy. >> colonel, what's your reaction? >> there is no strategy he's absolutely right about that but the solution is not necessarily to increase the number of forward air controllers we have. one of the things we have to remember is air power, like all air support, all fire support, is only good in as far as it's
protecting and assisting troops on the ground, who then have to seize and hold terrain. it's not enough to just bomb the bad guys. you have to hold on to the objective that can't only be done by air power, no matter how many air controllers you have in the air, ayman. >> i want your thoughts as you stand there at that vietnam memorial in washington on this memorial day. >> behind me on that wall are the names of more than 58,000 of my brothers your brothers everybody's brothers, and although a lot of people who come down here have fought in wars have lost people whose names are on the wall it doesn't hit you of the enormity of the loss until you stand in front of that wall and see all those names. name after name as far as you can see. the service and the sacrifice of these people becomes evident to you, and then you really can realize that you enjoy freedom because of the sacrifice of other people. that's the most lasting
impression of being down here at the wall. >> colonel jack jacobs sir, thank you very much. >> you're very welcome. now to developing news out of our nation's capital, a bomb squad was called to destroy a pressure cooker outside the u.s. capital. police arrested the owner of the vehicle. pete williams joins me with the very latest. >> ayman, good day. this car was parked at the foot of the capital at the west side towards the national mall and when police took a closer look they said they detected a odor of gasoline and saw what they thought was a pressure cooker and propane tank so they blocked off the street for a couple of blocks in both directions called in the bomb squad, which searched the car, removed the pressure cooker and blew it up but capital police say they found nothing hazardous. the driver who is from suburban washington was arrested but was
charged simply with driving on an expired license. as for why he had a pressure cooker gasoline tank and propane tank in his car, he says he operated a food truck. the car was discovered just a few hours before sunday's memorial day concert on the west front of the capital. an announcement was made and people could hear the device being detonated. ever since the boston marathon bombing, pressure cookers have attracted attention, al qaeda included instructions how to use them to build bombs. ayman? >> pete thank you very much for that update. coming up dozens of protesters arrested in cleveland last night after a court acquitted a police officer. plus the race to save wildlife continues off the coast of santa barbara, where an oil spill has leaked over 100,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean. coming up at 11:00 a.m. eastern, president obama will pay tribute to america's men and women in uniform at arlington
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demonstrators arrested over the weekend are in court following the acquittal of an officer. 62 were charged with misdemeanors. the officer was acquitted saturday in the november 2012 deaths of two unarmed motorists. the department of justice, u.s. attorney's office and the fbi say they will review the case. officials in california say they've recovered about 20% of the oil from last week's spill along santa barbara's coast. on to some of the country's most beautiful beaches. over the weekend, more animals were rescued and taken to seaworld to recover, as volunteers have been working
feverishly to clean up the mess. two state beaches could reopen as early as next week. joining me senior scientist of marine chemistry and geochemistry at oceanographic institution. i understand you obtained a sample of the soil from the santa barbara spill. what can you tell about it and what you discovered so far? >> it's a typical california crude, it's an oil that's been refined along the california coastline for a long time and has a chemical composition that's on the good side of a type of a crude that might spill to the environment. >> this country is not immune to oil spills in the past. how does this compare to some of the country's worst spills? >> well relatively minimal. this is a very small oil spill. obviously, it's easy for me to say this while i live in cape cod, but i would say overall we're in very good hands with the united states government and industry in cleaning up this
area and while it's been a hassle i believe in the long term this will be a relatively small event. >> we've heard from the company which has apologized for the broken pipeline and is ready to extract the broken section. should we be worried about other pipelines in the system? >> well the increase of pipeline oil releases is increasing while tankers and other activities is decreasing, but relatively pipelines do release small amounts of oil but it's a new and concerning aspect of oil spills coming from pipelines. >> we know about 20% of the oil has been recovered. can you talk to us about the tools that the workers are using to contain this spill and the cleanup? >> yeah, they are using a variety of different tools in their tool box from booms, to shovels, to skimmers to anything they can to recover this product. and the good thing is in reality that it's so close to shore, it allows us to put assets in place to allow these cleanups and move as quickly as possible. so you get the oil away so it's
not going to stick the animals and wildlife and cause a longer term harm. >> mr. reddy thank you so much for joining us. still ahead, a check on how the 2016 presidential hopefuls are spending this memorial day holiday and up next the summer travel season is upon us but brace yourselves this year's forecast is calling for crowded planes and even more crowded flights. not a surprise to many of us as air travel is expected to hit a record high. my school reunion's coming fast. could be bad. could be a blast. can't find a single thing to wear. will they be looking at my hair? won't be the same without you bro. when it's go, go to the new choicehotels.com. the site with the right room, rewards and savings up to 20% when you book direct. choicehotels.com
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about 126,000 seats, an increase of 4.6%. joining me now, yahoo! travel managing editor. the average round trick domestic ticket price is about $454. that's down less than 1%. why do you think so many people are traveling now? >> well right now we're seeing a strong dollar we're seeing the economy being much more robust than last summer and it is the start of summer so we're seeing a lot of people want to get out there and travel over to europe where they know that they can stretch the dollar much further than they could last year. >> you talk about traveling to europe and i want to ask you about international travel. are we seeing more of that? are people flying overseas more because of some of those reasons? >> people are booking so many more overseas trips this summer. we're seeing istanbul paris, london stockholm as top destinations over even places like canada and mexico which are typically big places for
american travelers to go in the summer. >> the ticket prices are a little bit lower this summer compared to last summer which is certainly great news for people like us who love to travel, but why is it why are we seeing prices drop this year a bit? >> airlines are really trying to accommodate this demand so they are putting a lot more people on planes, they are adding more flights, but the concern is can the airline and the airport infrastructure handle this surge in demand? >> certainly, the flights are not becoming more comfortable. >> absolutely aren't they are really packing more people on these planes. if you thought this was incomfortable last year wait until next month. >> hawaii is one of the key destinations, obviously, what are some of the other destinations people might be heading to this summer? >> we're still seeing a lot of people going to florida, obviously, hawaii. like i said these destinations in europe stockholm, london, istanbul istanbul, people are going there. mexico still remains a top destination for american travelers, then in addition to flying, we're seeing a lot of
people hit the road. seeing a lot of road trips. >> do you get a sense when people travel they travel for either adventure or beaches? >> either adventure or relaxation, right, so the beaches fall into that relaxation category. you're either going to go to the mountains and go hiking or biking or go to the beach and lay down and read. >> everyone is going to want to know what are some of the best deals that are out there right now? >> there's good deals in hawaii right now, good deals for florida, and frankly, like i said, there's really good deals to london if you're looking in june and july. >> where are you going this summer? >> i'm sticking right here. right here. i'm going to enjoy the empty new york city. >> good luck with your travel plans. thank you so much. coming up ben carson finds some southern hospitality, but will it be enough to carry him far into the 2016 primary race? plus, what we've learned so far from hillary clinton's private e-mails. shoots and burns its way into your day, i hear you. to everyone with this pain that makes ordinary tasks extraordinarily painful,
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now for the small town's annual memorial day parade. it's a good time to be on her home turf following friday's release of the first batch of e-mails. in an interview yesterday, julian castro hit back at the house benghazi committee leading the charge. >> what you have here with these e-mails is basically a witch hunt and, you know congressman gowdy who's leading this is very intentionally trying to manipulate this witch hunt to play politics. that's unfortunate. >> joining me right now is msnbc's alex seitz-wald. alex, what type of reception is she getting there today? >> reporter: well this is her hometown and she is very well laked here. it's a very democratic town. i've talked to a lot of residents this morning and they are very excited to have the clintons here and be a part of their community since 1999.
they say they see bill clinton a lot more than they see hillary. they see him walking the dogs going to starbucks, very charming gregarious guy. hillary clinton tends to be more reserved she's been off being secretary of state, she's been senator, now running for president, but definitely there's a sense of excitement about seeing them and this might be the first time by the way, we've seen them together in one place since she announced her presidential run. there's definitely a lot of excitement about that. >> interesting, we'll be closely watching that. alex, this week clinton will make her first campaign trip to the south, heading to south carolina wednesday. what's on the agenda for her down there? >> reporter: well that's right. this is her first trip back to south carolina since she lost the state in 2008 then a big way to barack obama. it's, of course, one of the early primary states. she'll be giving a keynote address, one of the first real speeches of her presidential campaign to a democratic women's group, then also be doing a round table, which has been typical of the stuff she's been
doing in iowa and new hampshire with a group of women and minority business leaders, but the interesting thing to watch will be her reception there. she's so popular in these other states, but this is a state that really rejected her in 2008. will they welcome her, we'll have to see. >> obviously, the questions this week, big questions about the e-mails. how does she seem to be weathering the impact of that first batch? >> well you know i think the clinton people are actually happy to get it out there. they've been telling me all along that once all this stuff is out, they'll be exonerated there's no smoking guns. one clinton aide told me friday's release was the last bite of the apple before they hope this blows over. they want to get it done. we'll see if that proves to be the case but it's definitely been a huge distraction. on friday she was in new hampshire, wanted to talk about small businesses wanted to talk about the export/import bank and that message was clearly overwhelmed, at least on the national level by the e-mail
issue, which came right in the middle of her event. >> alex thank you very much for that update. it's a big week ahead also for the rest of the 2016 presidential fields of the republican party. expecting announcements from rick santorum martin o'malley one candidate with unwanted attention, though was mike huckabee, who found himself defending a supporter who just came out with shocking admissions of sexual assault. joining me now to break this down is politico's ben shrekenger. rick santorum, followed by lindsey graham and rick perry, how are they going to set themselves apart in this very crowded field? >> that's a big question. one of the answers has been foreign policy that's the entire rationale so far for lindsey graham's campaign. he's very hawkish. there's a hawkish mood in the republican party right now.
even rick santorum has really pivoted to emphasize his foreign policy. and with rick perry, it's going to be the story of economic growth in texas in his tenure but for all three of them even rick perry who you would expect to be a top tier candidate, it's just going to be very difficult to break through. >> he's been considered and seen as an underdog but this weekend ben carson won the straw poll at the southern republican leadership conference. did that surprise you or perhaps others in the field? >> you know it's actually not that surprising. among the activist grassroots there, is a bit of a cult of personality for ben carson. at cpac his people were everywhere but i wouldn't read too much into the significance of these straw polls. they've never really been a reliable indicator of who's going to perform well in the nominating contest, and many of the major candidates are sort of sitting them out at this point.
>> let's switch to the democratic side, not nearly as crowded as the republican side. this week perhaps expected announcements from martin o'malley, he's expected to officially join the race on saturday. is he on the clinton campaign radar at this point, or is he not a factor in this race? >> you know they are aware of him. he will be a factor simply by the fact that he'll be on that debate stage. he is trying to sort of pick up the mantle of elizabeth warren in terms of being the person in the race who is trying to push hillary clinton to the left. bernie sanders, obviously, also occupying some of that space. does he have a real chance at winning? ask me again in six months i guess. >> let's talk about a controversy here, mike huckabee who has a lot of people scratching their heads after revealed duggar was admitted to molesting underaged girls when
he was a teenager. "josh's actions are as he described them himself, inexcusable, but that doesn't mean unforgivable. no purpose whatsoever is served by those trying to discredit josh or his family by sensationalizing his story. good people make mistakes and do regrettable and disgusting things." what's he gain from this being out forward from this? >> what he gains, i think, is that evangelical social conservatives often feel persecuted by the mainstream media and i think in this case he has less to lose than it may appear. he's willing loyal to a family that's been loyal to him and i think among his niche in the party, they are going to feel this is a got ya story and they are not going to abandon mike huckabee over there. >> ben, thank you very much for joining us this memorial day. >> thank you for having me. we're following developing news in new orleans.
a 45-year-old police officer with the housing authority was found shot to death in his cruiser sunday morning. the officer's identity has not been released. the housing authority police chief says the officer has been on the force for two years and he's the first officer killed in the line of duty. police are working closely to identify and arrest any suspects. turning now to the latest in a brutal quadruple murder that happened last week in a washington, d.c. neighborhood. police have released four people daron dylon wint is the only person charged, but police are still looking for accomplices. nbc's craig melvin has this report. >> reporter: this morning investigators want to know did suspect daron dylon wint act alone or were othered involved in the murders of the savopoulos family and their housekeeper? >> it would have been difficult for wint to have done this alone. >> reporter: investigators believe the victims were held captive over 19 hours. shortly after a $40,000 ransom
was paid they were killed. investigators say the crimes required the presence and assistance of more than one person. >> it would have been difficult to control four different people, three adults and a child. it would have been difficult to get to the house, get in dispose of one of the victim's vehicles. >> reporter: 34-year-old wint has been charged with murder after police say his dna was found on pizza crust that was left in the room where the three adults were murdered. a law enforcement official tells our new york station authorities tracked cell phones connected to wint following his movements from washington, d.c. to brooklyn, new york where this surveillance video shows part of the man hunt. the new york daily news reports according to authorities, wint took a taxi from new york back to d.c. paying $1,000 in cash from the $40,000 ransom. this has not been confirmed by nbc news. wint was taken into custody thursday, along with five other individuals, who have not been
identified and were eventually released. >> one of the reasons law enforcement would not keep them in custody is you'd like them to talk. you'd like them to be out in the community, you'd like them to be bragging. >> reporter: court documents also reveal a witness who say they saw a individual driving the family's porsche before it was later found torched, describing a man with short hair driving erratically. the court papers also revealed an assistant lied to them about when and how the $40,000 in ransom was delivered. that assistant has not been charged, leaving the investigation far from over. >> our work is not done. we will continue to investigate this case and bring all charges that are appropriate in the coming weeks. >> that was craig melvin reporting. we've some breaking news that we want to share with you right now out of mississippi, the northeastern part of the state near tupelo. our affiliate is reporting a tornado briefly touched down moments ago in the center of the
town. the twister caused minimal damage. we'll keep you updated on that story, as well. coming up this is a live look at arlington national cemetery, where president obama will speak next hour to mark this memorial day. we'll bring you his remarks live. after the break, summer movie season is here. we'll tell you what won the box office this weekend and what to look forward to ahead. we all enter this world with a shout and we see no reason to stop. so cvs health is creating industry-leading programs and tools
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fallujah, why these particular battles and what did we learn about it? >> each one of the battles says something special about the people who fought our wars and why we went to war and the differences between going to war in 1781 with george washington and the differences of going into fallujah iraq but some of the similarities. it's interesting, for instance that the men who go in in yorktown in 1781 washington tells them to use cold steel, bayonet bayonets, the men in fallujah ten years ago, also fixed bayonets. some things change in war, others don't. today, obviously, we're thinking about sacrifice, loss courage, none of those things change. memorial day is the day to remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion, as lincoln said. >> long history of warfare. i was wondering what's your take on how the public looks at war, how that's evolved over generations. >> that's an important point in
the book so many of us today are removed from war. very few americans anymore have any family members serving. that wasn't true of course in world war ii. also reflected in congress very few members of congress today have military service, so we've changed a great deal over 50 years, but certainly also over 230 years, and so the idea that we should really understand mantics of it but when we go to war is important for all of us to understand. >> war itself is changing. we're not going to see another war where there's an official surrender like world war i and world war ii. the wars now perhaps have no clear end. >> of course they are not truly wars. most americans are surprised to learn we've only declared war five times in our history, even when we say war in afghanistan
and iraq they are not declared wars, but yes, 70 years ago the war in europe ended with an incredible celebration. the streets were full in times square. i'm surprised how little attention was paid to that and that has to do with the fact many americans are disconnected from the process, especially when we have a situation like in iraq, where private security contractors are involved. when i write about fallujah and the four men who died many americans did not realize they weren't soldiers they were private security contractors, sot way we go to war has changed. >> you mention an important point about romantacizing war. we're seeing movies, "zero dark third," "american sniper," how have hollywood movies had an impact on war? >> when i was a kid it was all glory and wonderful and there
was always a happy ending. i think that we've seen there's been a change in how hollywood looks at war. usually you have to be skeptical about it but i saw a film for instance, called "fury" about tankers in world war ii then met some tankers at the army war college a week ago, did they get it right? they got everything right except you couldn't smell it. i thought there was no smell-o-vision, in other words. going to war has always been smelly dirty, barbarous and when we try to make it too pretty and forget on a day like today that there's tremendous blood, sweat, and tears shed we're doing ourselves and the people who gave their lives a disservice. >> fascinating read definitely on my summer reading list. thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me. it's an important day for us all to remember what it's about. the summer movie season is under way with "tomorrowland" topping the box office.
so far the sci-fi pulled in over $32 million, but it is just the beginning of the blockbuster season. jurassic dinosaurs are making a comeback and an entourage heading to the big screen. joe neumeier joins me now for what's in store. joe, "tomorrow land" kicks off the season but the box office and critics' response underwhelming, no? >> that's correct. it's a very ambitious disney adventure, comes up a bit short, but perfect for kids 10 to 13. has a sweet sense of innocence to it and it's the rare action film that doesn't have a lot of violence in it. for kids 10 to 13 it's good but needed more action beats. >> a lot of anticipation for one of my personal favorites, jurassic world starring chris pratt. let's take a quick look. >> we have our first genetically modified hybrid. >> just went and made a new dinosaur.
>> probably not a good idea. evacuate the island. she's a highly intelligent animal. she will kill anything that moves. >> oh, god. >> so jurassic world, or san andreas, which is the bigger hit? >> i have to go with jurassic world. people love to see dinosaurs, scream, get chomped, repeat. i think this is 22 years since the first jurassic park and the dinosaurs are only going to get bigger. san andreas, warner bros. faced an issue so quickly after the earthquake in nepal, but they have come back with it seems to be things on the website and an event where they are talking about relief funds and things like that. the rock is a big action star but jurassic world is going to be the bigger movie. >> let's talk about comedies melissa mccarthy in "spy" and "entourage." >> like sex in the city, hbo
movie that makes a move to the big screen, vincent chase going full hollywood here and melissa mccarthy has a bit of a spotty record. this is directed by the director of bridesmaids and the heat but entourage is the one to go with. >> thank you very much. up next as we mark this memorial day we'll look how one organization is giving a special homecoming to one of america's heros. one of those vets will join me in studio next. just stay calm and move as quietly as possible. no sudden movements. google search: bodega beach house.
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with xfinity from comcast you can manage your account anytime, anywhere on any device. just sign into my account to pay bills manage service appointments and find answers to your questions. you can even check your connection status on your phone. now it's easier than ever to manage your account. get started at xfinity.com/myaccount minutes from now president obama will visit arlington national cemetery, america's most hallowed ground for memorial day observances. the president will lay a wreath at tomb of the unknown soldier. we'll have live coverage of that. joining me here in our studio, one of the veterans in our nation that sacrificed so
much in afghanistan, a former marine lance corporal lost both legs and broke his pelvis when he stepped on an ied in afghanistan in 2012. tiffany and their infant daughter, not to mention the two cute dogs we see right there. thanks for being with us and thank you very much for your service and the sacrifice you've made for our country. i want to start off by asking you if you could tell us what happened on that day in afghanistan. >> i was a machine gunner out of north carolina and we were in afghanistan in 2010 through 2011. and on january 21st 2011 we were running a patrol at nighttime and went into a compound and as i went on to the rooftop with the rest of my machine gunners, when i went down to get the rest of the equipment, i landed on a bomb which resulted in me losing both legs below the knees and was medevaced to germany. from then on new chapter in my life where i had to continue to do the things i used to do before and as a 26-year-old, you
have a lot of life so that was just the start of everything. >> you talk a little about your recovery. you went back to bethesda, maryland, for treatment there. talk to us a little bit about the recovery. how many surgeries have you had? >> with the broken pelvis and shattered femur, it took six to eight surgeries to get me back into walking stages and by the time you get the prosthetic, being in the military you have a strong conscious you want to get back to doing what you wanted to do before so eight to nine months i was running a half marathon, so on and so forth, trying to stay active. >> you haven't stopped since. >> you can't stop. life doesn't stop for anybody. for me trying to find things i could adapt to to continue to live forward. >> i understand the nonprofit foundation homes for troops is about to build you a special home on long island where your wife's family is from. >> yeah, they moved there a
couple years ago. >> talk about the importance of this organization and what it's doing. >> homes for our troops is a nonprofit, an organization that puts veterans with disabilities back into an adaptive home with 40-plus adaptations for us reach with wheelchairs, with cabinets that fold down wider hallways giving you and allowing you to feel so comfortable at home to where you, you know you build your lives, it's really difficult to live in a home where you're not able to move around and function with a wheelchair, so what this organization is they basically give you your life back your independence, your freedom to continue to live your life as you did before the injury. we are forever grateful for this organization that doesn't owe us anything, as well as nobody owes us anything. we're grateful there are people willing to give back to us. >> i'll tell you one thing, our nation owes you a sense of gratitude, i appreciate that. immaterial i want to ask about your plans in the future. you want to become a new york
city police officer? >> that's correct. i medically discharged in 2012 i've been working to get myself back to physically fit and taking the suffolk county police exam. that's what my next step is. i've been running in the gym and trying to commute within different organizations and i think it's time i finally start putting myself back in the line to give back to the community and give back to this country, who gave me my freedom. >> we both are from atlanta, shout out to atlanta. >> shoutout to atlanta, hockey too, rangers and everything. >> thank you so much for coming in. thank you for your service and sacrifice you've made we appreciate it. >> thank you very much. in just a few minutes we'll hear from president obama as he marks this memorial day at arlington national cemetery. craig melvin picks up coverage next. stay with us here on msnbc. you know the importance of heart health. you watch your diet, excercise... and may take an omega-3 supplement, such as fish oil. but when it comes to omega-3s, it's the epa and dha that really matter for heart health. not all omega-3 supplements are the same. introducing bayer pro ultra omega-3
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arlington national cemetery, president obama will pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknowns. you can see the honor guard standing at attention there on the left side of the screen. the president will then speak at a ceremony at the adjoining amphitheater after he lays that wreath. chris jansing joins me once again. chris, i remember you saying earlier that the president may have given us a bit of a preview of what we can expect to hear during his weekly radio address. >> reporter: yes this is obviously, a very traditional dress for the president of the united states on memorial day, but it is the first memorial day since the end of the war in afghanistan, since the withdrawal of combat troops of afghanistan, so the president will give special attention to the 2,200 men and women who gave their lives there, as well as all the men and women who have
paid the ultimate price to ensure our freedom. we just got notification that the president's motorcade has just arrived at arlington national cemetery. anyone who's ever been there, they know what a very solemn but also emotional place it is. this is always emotional for every president to lay that wreath on the tomb of the unknowns. we can also expect the president to get somewhat personal today, telling some stories. obviously, one of the things that he has done as every president does is to meet so many of the men and women in uniform and also meet with the families, and, in fact this morning the president had a private breakfast here at the white house. among them the guests here gold star mothers, veterans members of the tragedy assistance program, an opportunity for him to have some private time with those who served and the families of those who have served. again, we do expect this ceremony will get under way very soon. the president's motorcade, craig, has arrived.
>> before we hear from the president, secretary of defense ash carter during that ceremony you just saw there a few moments ago the secretary of defense taking his place there as president obama prepares to lay the tomb at the -- is that the president there in the distance? no, not the president just yet. let's bring in the panel as we wait for the ceremony to start. joined now from the vaethietnam memorial in washington military analyst, retired army colonel jack jacobs also joining us verna jones, first woman to head that organization in its nearly 100-year history, also an army veteran and former army major bill roush now director of the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. he served 17 months in iraq. good to have all of you with me. let's press pause here in our conversation as president obama
>> as we prepare to start the official program here in a few moments, august us through the significance of what we just saw there, the president laying the wreath there at the tomb of the unknowns. >> well until recently we had unknown troops people who had fallen. we didn't know who they were and we collected their remains and put them in this tomb to honor the veterans of each of those wars. now, of course we don't have any unknowns but the tradition persists, and it should persist as a way to pay homage to those who sacrificed everything so we could enjoy our freedom today. when we were all young, the import of the loss the weight
of the loss was lost on us. and it wasn't until we got older, when we went through war ourselves, until we realized the enormous sacrifices that were made in the name of freedom so that all of us now who have survived could enjoy freedom and liberty today, and it's important that we remember. it is memorial day, we've forgotten a little about what that all means. it's good to get together and all that but it's much more important we do not forget and the whole purpose of this ceremony is that we do not forget. >> verna, your organization the american legion chartered by congress in 1919 this country's largest veterans organization. just picking up on what colonel jacks said there, have we forgotten? >> you know i don't think we've forgotten. we can never forget. so many men and women gave so
much for this country and every day we enjoy freedoms because of those people. maybe we don't celebrate it exactly how we should. maybe we've -- the celebration of memorial day has died down a little bit, but at the american legion, every day we remember the men and women who sacrificed for this country. i don't think any american will ever forget when they are able to go outside and go to work and do the things that they want to do they have to remember why they were afforded those freedoms. >> bill as president obama noted during his weekly address, this is the first memorial day since the official end of the war in afghanistan. what are your thoughts today about those that served in iraq in afghanistan specifically on this memorial day? >> i'd echo the colonel's comments and verna's, as well but specific to iraq and afghanistan, as we remember today, those fallen in fact at
12:01 p.m. eastern, we're going to be going silent for 60 seconds for us to just take a moment and think about and thank the fallen comrades that we've served with but as a reminder to everyone watching we're still in iraq and afghanistan. in fact, we've lost service members this year in iraq and afghanistan, so although the official combat operations may be over we still have men and women in iraq in afghanistan, who are prepared to give their lives in defense of this great country. >> you said something earlier i think bears repeating, this idea that the way we fight wars the way that we engage in conflict now has changed in such a dramatic way as a result consequently the way we view memorial day has changed, as well. >> well when i first came in the service, we had the draft. i'm a fan of universal service, not of selective service. i think everybody is lucky
enough to live in a free country owes it something in the form of service. now we have a professional service. there are lots of good things that attend to that but one of the things that we lose is that notion of service and sacrifice, that universal notion of service and sacrifice. something we do not necessarily share, i don't think that's necessarily healthy. i don't think it's a very good idea to open up a wide gulf between people serving and people being served. i'd like to see that closed which by the way makes the service and sacrifice of the men and women currently in uniform all that more important. let's not forget them too. >> verna, you know so much was made a little bit more than a year ago a lot was made and justifiably so of how our government, how the va specifically, was treating veterans. have we improved dramatically over the past year or so? >> there's been some improvement
over the last year. there's still a long way to go. there's so much that we need to do for veterans. we just can't do enough. the va's moving forward, we're all moving forward as a nation and making sure veterans get the benefits they deserve. there are still some areas that we need to work on but we've come a long way. we're nowhere near where we were this time last year. >> we should note right now, sort of what's happening here at the memorial day ceremony we just saw a few moments ago president obama laying the wreath there at the tomb of the unknown soldiers. right now we're waiting on the invocation, then hear from general martin dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs also hearing, of course from president obama, as well as the secretary of defense, secretary ash carter as well. the entire ceremony not expected to take longer than about 45 minutes or so. colonel jack i want to get your take on what verna just said there about the way that we have
improved the services offered to veterans and before i get you to answer, if we have to interrupt you, i apologize in advance. have we improved dramatically? >> yes, dramatically so. wait times are way, way down. a lot of -- all of the services have improved at the veterans administration. there's -- well in the department of veterans affairs, cabinet department now, so it has a great deal of visibility. they are dedicated people. they have to overcome the difficulty that all bureaucracies, the stumbling blocks all bureaucracies place between people trying to get service and those who want to provide it. but there's a great deal of leadership that is currently there, that is dedicated itself to making things much much better. and they've done a much better job. at the end of the day, i agree there's not enough you can do for people who have worn the cloth of this nation. and that's one reason why every single year we've got to
remember what these people are, veterans day and memorial day, we have to remember what everybody has done for us. that's why when people ask what do you think about memorial day, i said the same thing about every day, all those men and women out there right now making sure that i and my family and my friends are safe and we've got to make sure that when they come home, when they need whatever services they need they get it immediately and they get the best, the top quality care. i think it's vastly improved now. we are in a much better place this year. >> bill who and what do you think about on this memorial day? >> for me specifically i think of individuals. i think of sergeant first class dan shridner who i served with in the army who died in august of 2006 in northern iraq i think of derrick hines, friend
and classmate of mine from west point, i think of jimmy gerbitz, laura walker and today i'm going to take a moment of silence, say their names, thank them. i might even smile and remember some of the good times we've had together. then i also think of all of those who have come before us you know we are where we are today because of the great sacrifices that are not only ongoing, as the colonel mentioned, but the sacrifices of so many throughout our nation's history. that's what i think about, and i think broadly speaking today is also an opportunity to bridge the civilian military divide that the colonel mentioned earlier. there is a small percentage of us currently serving and today is an opportunity for us to come together as a nation to remember and honor of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. >> as we prepare to do that here, again, you are looking on the left side of your screen there, that is the memorial amphitheater. this remembrance ceremony set to
start momentarily, and again, once it does start, we will let you listen and watch the lion's share of it. we'll hear from the secretary of defense, we'll hear from the president, the chairman of the joint chiefs, as well will be there. of course all branches of the military represented, army marine corps, navy air force, coast guard, all of them represented in some way, shape, or form on that stage there. just a few moments ago we saw president obama lay the wreath there at the tomb of the unknown soldiers. right now you are watching the arrival of the official party on stage there. just a few moments we'll once again hear "hail to the chief," as they begin the formal ceremony there just steps away from the tomb of the unknown soldier there in the amphitheater. there's president obama taking his position.
probably got a bit of a preview. again, president obama not expected to speak for some time now, but a bit of a preview on his weekly address when president obama said in part "we have to honor their memory we have to care for their families and our veterans that served with them and as a nation we have to remain worthy of their sacrifice." talking specifically about veterans and, again, those who paid the ultimate price in service to this country. let's listen into the invocation now. this is chaplain -- command chaplain. >> almighty god, we gather today across america very mindful of the costs paid for the freedom we enjoy. we gather on these hallowed grounds particularly to remember and honor with singular devotion men and women of ignoble clay
like ours but who rose above their human condition with noble hearts and steadfast wills. who despite the brevity or the obscurity of their lives, dignified our humanity and the profession of arms by choosing to stand for something. who declared with their actions that preserving freedom is a cause to live for, to serve for and even to die for. bless our commemoration here and all its participants. may this observance render honor to those we remember for what they gave they deserve more than we can give. we ask you, lord to bestow upon them the gift this world cannot give. grant them the peace that they
found so elusive in this life and let that peace be full and everlasting. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please join the united states marine band in the singing of our national anthem. ♪ o say can you see ♪ ♪ by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hailed ♪ at the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air ♪
>> thanks very much. let me begin by thanking the president's own and master gunnery sergeant kevin vaneer who did that rousing rendition of the national anthem. how about we give them a round of applause? [ applause ] mr. president, secretary carter members of congress veterans, and fellow americans, good morning and welcome. we come together in this anointed place on this appointed date to honor our fallen warriors, those champions of freedom who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. and i especially want to thank their families on behalf of the men and women of our armed forces, i want you to know that you are always in our hearts. we, along with a grateful nation, remain inspired by your strength and remarkable courage
and i want to make special mention of my teammates from the tragedy assistance program for survivors, whose family members and children are here celebrating their good grief camp. god bless you guys. [ applause ] i'm also asked by my fellow countrymen and women how to appropriately honor our fallen. they wonder how they can best lay tribute to those laid to rest beneath our flag so that we may stand freely beside it today. i tell them simply to remember. our great nation has set aside today for this very purpose, to remember. to remember how our fallen stood with courage and to memorialize their devotion to america and her principles but the sun will set on this day and disappear behind the foothills of virginia, and in the morning when it rises over the potomac, what then? what should we do? remember.
tomorrow, when you resume life's daily routines take a moment to think of the families who will return home and leave their loved ones here in this sacred place. think of the families of those brave souls in cemeteryies at home and abroad and unmarked graves on distant battlefields and on the tranquil blue seas. think of the empty chair at their dinner table and one less voice of laughter at their house and what of next week and next month, what should we do then? remember. when you see our star-spangled banner waving over your child's school at your local shopping center or in front of your neighbor's home, take a moment to consider those men and women who gave their lives for the principles that make america great. upon seeing a purple heart license plate or hearing the national anthem at a sporting event, think of those who did not survive their wounds who did not return home who can never again salute the flag or share in the freedoms we experience each and every day. these are the acts of
remembrance, daily rituals of reflection handed down to us by families of the fallen for generations. remembrance, like love and trust, only truly exists in our actions. it's not a place we visit or a simply sentiment, rather it's a debt of gratitude that shapes the way we live our lives. let us pledge today to make a habit of these acts of remembrance as an example for the generations that follow. and a year from today, on the last monday of may, we will reconvene on this hallowed ground to reaffirm our promise to always remember. may god give rest to our fallen and our missing, solace to their families and blessings to the united states of america. thank you. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, listen now as the united states marine band performs "america the beautiful".
[ applause ] [ applause ] >> the marine band there getting an appropriate standing ovation there. >> ladies and gentlemen, secretary carter. >> secretary of defense ash carter getting set to take the podium. let's listen in. >> mr. president, chairman and mrs. dempsey, distinguished guests ladies and gentlemen, to our gold star families the
families of america's fallen heros in attendance here and across our grateful nation it is truly our honor to be standing with you on this solemn, sacred day. we, your fellow americans, lack the words to describe what you feel today, because try as we may and try as we do we can never fully know but we do know what your sacrifice means to us to this nation and to a world that still depends so much on american men and women in uniform for its security. as we gather here this morning, i'm reminded of the words of one of our presidents, a veteran who himself rests not a ten-minute walk from here president john f. kennedy. in this very amphitheater, he
once said "these quiet grounds, this cemetery and others like it all around the world, remind us with pride of our obligation and our opportunity." on a day set aside for americans to honor and remember those who perished while serving our country, our obligation and our opportunity are one in the same. our obligation is to give voice to the fallen honor them and share their stories of sacrifice and heroism. our opportunity is to use this day to inspire new generations to understand the freedom they have been given, to grasp how and why it is theirs and to dedicate themselves to pass it on to generations unborn.
reflect for a moment on the way our nation's flag is flown on memorial day. first, it is hoisted briskly to the top with the same clarity of purpose we see in all those who step forward to join our all-volunteer force. then it is solemnly soberly, lowered to half staff, a tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. but it doesn't stay there. at noon it is raised back toward the sky, signaling our will to recover after tragedy and symbolizing the great strength and resilience that characterizes not only our nation, but also those who defend it and their families. so today, when we watch the american flag fully ascend once again, our thoughts will be with our service members both lost and living including the nearly
200,000 soldiers sailor airmen marines, beyond our shores as we gather here so ably protecting us far from home. they, too, join us in mourning the fallen. they, too, join us in celebrating our strength. and like those we remember today, they too, serve in a long line of patriots who fought in places like lexington and concord, gettysburg and midway and more recently, fallujah and helmand helmand, a legacy that's made our military the finest fighting force the world has ever known. troops of such caliber demand great leaders, and there's no doubt they have one in our commander in chief. i see that every day. he knows well the challenges we must face the obligations we must meet and the opportunities we must seize in order to keep
our nation safe and to make a better world for our children. and i see that he cares deeply about the safety welfare, and dignity of our men and women in uniform and their families. for all that and so much more i am tremendously proud to serve as his secretary of defense. ladies and gentlemen, it's my great privilege to introduce the president of the united states, barack obama. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you. please, be seated. good morning, everybody. thank you, secretary carter for your leadership of our men and women in uniform. general dempsey, major general buchanon, mr. patrick halennon
chaplain, members of our armed services veterans and most of all, families and friends of our fallen. it is my deep honor to share this day with you again. for 147 years, our nation has set aside this day to pay solemn tribute to patriots who gave their last full measure of devotion for this country that we love. and while the nature of war has changed over that time the values that drive our brave men and women in uniform remain constant. honor, courage, selflessness those values lived in the hearts
of everyday heros who risked everything for us in every american war, men and women who now rest forever in these quiet fields and across our land. they live in the patriots who sparked a revolution and who saved our union. they lived in the young gis who defeated tyranny in europe and the pacific, and this year we mark a historic anniversary, 70 years since our victory in world war ii. more than 16 million americans left everything they knew to fight for our freedom. more than 400,000 gave their lives. and today i ask all the family and friends of our fallen world war ii heros, spouses, children, brothers, and sisters, and fellow veterans from world war ii to please stand if you can or raise your hand so that our
country can thank you once more. [ applause ] [ applause ] these same values lived in those who braved the mountains of korea, the jungles of vietnam, the deserts of the middle east. and in the past decade we've seen these values on display again in the men and women of our 9/11 generation. for many of us this memorial day is especially meaningful it is the first since our war in afghanistan came to an end. today is the first memorial day in 14 years that the united states is not engaged in a major
ground war, so on this day we honor the sacrifice of the thousands of american service members, men and women, who gave their lives since 9/11 including more than 2,200 american patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in afghanistan. as an arizona kid, wyatt martin loved the outdoors. he started fishing when he was 2 years old. his dad says he was pretty good for a toddler. wyatt grew to 6'4" became a hunter and wore flannel shirts every day so his friends nicknamed him paul bunyan. he planned to go to college and work in the arizona fish and game department to protect the land and waters he loved so much. wyatt's life was animated by the belief that the blessings that he and his family enjoyed as americans came with an obligation to give back.
obligation to serve. so before he pursued his dream of becoming a steward of the great outdoors he enlisted in the army and when he deployed to afghanistan as a combat engineer, there was no doubt in his mind that he was doing the right thing. last summer wyatt told his sister, if something happens to me know that i went happy. ramona morris was born in jamaica, moved to queens as a teenager and like so many proud immigrants, he was called compelled, to serve his new country. he, too, enlisted in the army and he even recruited his older brother marlin to join, as well. he served five tours, including several in iraq. along the way he fell in love with an army reservist named christina, they had a little girl and named her ariana.
ramon was the kind of leader who would do anything for his men on and off the battlefield. but nothing was more important to him than being a great father to his little girl. specialist wyatt martin and sergeant first class ramon morris were 15 years apart in age. they traveled greatly different paths in life but those paths took them to the same unit. those paths made them brothers in arms, serving together in afghanistan. in december an ied struck their vehicle. they were the last two americans to give their lives during our combat mission in afghanistan. today here in arlington in section 60 ramon lies in eternal rest. and we are honored to be joined by his brother, sergeant first
were bonded together to secure our liberty, to keep us safe. my fellow americans, this hallowed ground is more than the final resting place of heros. it is a reflection of america itself. it's a reflection of our history. the wars we've waged for democracy, the peace we've laid to preserve it. it's a reflection of our diversity, men and women of all backgrounds, all races and creeds and circumstances and faiths, willing to defend and die for the ideals that bind us as one nation. it is a reflection of our character, seen not only in those who are buried here but also in the caretakers who watch over them and preserve this
sacred place and in the sentinel sentinels of the third infantry regiment who dutifully, unfailly watch over those patriots known only to god, but not forgotten. today the nation thanks them, as well. most americans don't fully see, don't fully understand the sacrifice made by the 1% who serve in this all-volunteer armed forces. the sacrifice that preserves the freedoms we too often take for granted. few know what it's like to take a bullet for a buddy or to live with the fact that he or she took one for you. but our gold star families our military families our veterans they know this intimately. whenever i meet with our gold star families like i did this
morning, i hear their pride through their tears as they flip through old photos run their fingers over shiny medals. i see their hearts are still broken and yet still full of love. they do not ask for awards or honors they do not ask for special treatment. they are unfailingly humble in the faith of unspeakable loss they represent the best of who we are. they are people like ramon's mother, who could carry hate for the people who killed her son, but she says i have no anger, no bitterness, even for the person who did this. i feel sorry for them and i ask god to change their hearts. that's one gold star mother's amazing grace. folks like wyatt's parents, brian and julie martin who said of their son, he's not just our
kid, he's everybody's. he's an american soldier, and as an american soldier, he belongs to everybody. they are the siblings like the gold star sister who wrote to me of her brother, private first class steven bench, who gave his life in iraq in 2004. she said remember him not as the 1,253rd war causality, but the 6'7" burst of light and positive influence he was on the world. these sons and daughters, these brothers and sisters, who laid down their lives for us, they belong to us all. they are our children, too. we benefit from their life their positive influence on the world, and it's our duty our eternal obligation to be there for them too.
to make sure our troops always have what they need to carry out the mission, to make sure we care for all those who have served, to make sure we honor all those whom we have lost to make sure we keep faith with our military families to make sure we never stop searching for those who are missing or trying to bring home our prisoners of war. we are grateful for the families of our pow mias. this may be the first memorial day since the end of our war in afghanistan, but we are acutely aware as we speak our men and women in uniform still stand watch and still serve and still sacrifice around the world. several years ago we had more than 100,000 troops in afghanistan. today fewer than 10,000 troops remain on a mission to train and assist afghan forces. we'll continue to bring them
home and reduce our forces further down to an embassy presence by the end of next year, but afghanistan remains a very dangerous place. and so many families know our troops continue to risk their lives for us. growing up in massachusetts, john dawson was an honor student who played varsity soccer loved the bruins lots the pats was always up for fun. running into a room while spraying silly string or photo bombing long before it was in style. john was passionate about service. he shared the same convictions of so many we honor today, who wanted nothing more than to join a common cause and be part of something bigger than himself. he channelled his love of cycling into charity bike rides with his church. he joined the army and as a combat medic he fulfilled his dream of helping people. he loved his job.
in april an attacker wearing an afghan uniform fired at a group of american soldiers. army corporal john dawson became the first american service member to give his life to this new mission, to train afghan forces. the words on john's dog tag were those of scripture, greater love has no other than this than to lay down your life for your friends. the americans who rest beneath these beautiful hills and in se kred sacred ground and around the world, they are why our nation endures. each simple stone marker arranged in perfect military precision signifies the cost of our blessings. it is a debt we can never fully repay, but it is a debt we will
never stop trying to fully repay. by remaining a nation worthy of their sacrifice, by living our own lives the way the fallen live theirs a testament that greater love has no other than this than to lay down your life for your friends. we are so grateful for them. we are so grateful for the families of our fallen. may god bless our fallen heros and their families and all who serve and may continue to bless the united states of america. [ applause ]
♪ ♪ >> eternal rest grant unto our beloved dead o lord and let perpetual light shine upon them. may they rest in peace. bless us lord bless us all across this land we call america with strength wisdom and courage. may the sacrifice of so many who have died in service to our country and our world inspire us who remain to a renewed commitment to our nation and to our patriotic duty. amen.
>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in place until the president has departed and the colors are retired. >> and there you have it for the sixth time president barack obama addressing the friends and family of the fallen who have gathered there on that sacred ground at arlington national cemetery. they are leaving the amphitheater, as you can see. the invocation there, the benediction and invocation given by colonel gary stednewski also secretary of defense, also martin dempsey, as well. president obama during that speech at one point noting that that is more than a resting place for heros, it is also a reflection of america itself. it's been a fair amount of time you see the president there spending some time talking with senator rob dole senator bob
dole from kansas. senator looks to be in pretty good shape there, too, good to see that story of wyatt martin and morris 15 years apart in age. both wound up as part of the same army unit. both with the last two men to die in afghanistan before combat operations were ended in that country. then we heard that sergeant morris' brother was set to depart -- is set to depart tonight for afghanistan. he received a standing ovation are from the crowd there in the amphitheater. let's bring back our medal of honor recipient, retired army colonel jack jacobs verna
jones. bill, let me start with you. we heard the president talking about afghanistan, about this being the first memorial day since the end of combat operations in that country. 10, 15 20 years from now bill what's the legacy in afghanistan going to be? what's the legacy in iraq going to be? >> i think in the context of memorial day which is today, i think the legacy will be that the 9/11 generations like generations before us have stood up from all across the country, the examples that the president gave from small towns and big cities. we took an oath and allegiance to protect the constitution of the united states from enemies foreign and domestic. we were willing to lay down our lives. all were willing to do that but only a few made the ultimate sacrifice. we believe that it's an example for future generations just like
those that have come before us. regardless of whether we've laid down our lives during combat operations, after combat operations, what we want the american public to realize is that we're prepared just like generations before us to make that ultimate sacrifice. it is about service and integrity. eat note from the president's speech, he mentioned honoring those who have made that ultimate sacrifice. that's what this weekend can be about as well. it's living a life to values and morals that so many have done who lay down their lives with integrity, cute honor, respect for others. we think that's what we can take moving forward. >> verna what struck you most from the president's remarks there? >> just how he personalized everything. how he remembered particular families and you know let us know that this is about honor and sacrifice, about love for
country, about being part of something bigger than self. he personalized it. this is about particular people families that have lost loved ones. today we must remember them and remember all men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. >> colonel jack this president said on numerous occasions and countless interviews when asked of course tasks the president has to carry out what's always the most difficult. he said it's sending young men and women into war. he has talked a great deal about the time he has spent with marines and soldiers and seamen hospitals all over the world. it always seems as if it deeply affects him. one of the things that struck me about what he said colonel jack -- i don't know if a lot of folks appreciate this -- world
war ii -- he asked the folks in the audience and family members as well to stand up. those that couldn't stand to wave their hand. 400,000 in this country lost their lives in world war ii. astonishing. >> that's i a staggering number. on the wall behind me are names of 58,300 people who in the space of about nine years lost their lives in vietnam. it's an awesome responsibility to make a decision like that. that's one of the reasons why people who are at the top of the food chain have to be extremely cognizant of the cost of engaging in any conflict. most important have to be extremely skilled at integrating all elements of foreign policy to achieve national objectives relying alone on the military establishment that by the way does its job extremely well
doesn't get you where you want to get to. start at the end work backwards, decide what you want to accomplish internationally and use military instrument and economic and political instruments of foreign policy in order to achieve what we want. if you don't do that we're constantly looking back over our soldiers and asking whether or not those 58,300 some odd people, those 400,000. the numbers lost in this war whether or not they were worth it. of course you ask the people that fought with them they'll tell you of course it's worth it because they were fighting to accomplish the mission. they were fighting for each other. never ever underestimate the enthusiasm young americans have for taking care of each other and taking care of this republic. one reason people at the food chain have to make the most informed choices check.
>> we don't have much time. i want to give you the last word here. on this memorial day, specifically who do you remember? >> of all penal ipeople -- all people i can think of -- the one that comes to mind is captain shotwell who was my company commander in air born 505 in 82nd air born who lost his life in second tour in vietnam. i think about him all the time. we watch the colors leave the amphitheater there and official party departs, we will do the same. colonel jack jacobs, jones, ralph, big thanks to all of you on this memorial day. big thanks at home for spending a portion with us. that is going to do it for this special memorial day edition of "msnbc live." i'm craig melvin. keep it here for live news
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