June 14 is President Donald Trump‘s birthday (it’s also, coincidentally, Flag Day, somewhat appropriate given Trump’s love for hugging flags).
Users on social media decided to reclaim the day, however, and give attention to a different American whose life they wanted to honor: the late Sen. John McCain, who passed away last August.
The idea began with Andy Lassner, the executive producer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, who sent a tweet to his followers encouraging them to push a new hashtag.
Honoring an American hero today.
I’m sure this would mean a lot to patriot like Donald Trump. #JohnMcCainDay
— andy lassner (@andylassner) June 14, 2019
His tweet was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek jab at the president, who had a visible rivalry with the late senator.
Lassner encouraged followers to push the #JohnMcCainDay hashtag all over the internet. “I’m sure this would mean a lot to [a] patriot like Donald Trump,” he wrote.
Within 10 hours, the tweet had been retweeted over 7,322 times. It was a trending topic within the U.S. on Twitter.
I refuse to celebrate a draft dodger today. Instead today will be #JohnMcCainDay. And @andylassner would hate if you made it trend and it’s fun for him to hate things so please give a tweet to #JohnMcCainDay
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) June 14, 2019
Lindsey Graham would love to be part of #JohnMcCainDay but he has to get his clown outfit ready for Donny’s bday party
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) June 14, 2019
— Leslie K (@Harpy9) June 14, 2019
Trump and McCain have long had a rivalry with one another. Trump, who avoided military service with a number of deferment referrals, said he didn’t consider McCain, who was a prisoner of war for a number of years in Vietnam, a war hero. “I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump said in 2015 on the presidential campaign trail, per reporting from Newsweek.
McCain, for his own part, upset the president greatly when he was one of a few Republican senators who voted against Trump’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. McCain did so in ceremonious fashion, walking to the Senate floor and putting a “thumbs down” motion in front of the legislative body.
Trump continued the feud even after McCain’s death. Earlier this year, Trump complained that he never got a “thank you” from his family for giving him the “funeral he wanted” in the U.S. Capitol.
It’s unclear what Trump meant by that at the time — his approval was never needed, according to CBS News.
Featured image via Zach Frailey/Flickr