In a ham-fisted attempt to recognize Gold Star parents, Khizr and Ghazala Khan—more than twelve years after the death of their son during “Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq”— Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer instead embarrassed himself.

After reading through a resolution that honored the parents of fallen soldier, Captain Humayun Khan (but did not directly honor Captain Kahn himself), Signer took a moment of personal privilege to bestow a gift upon the Khans.

What followed was nothing short of narcissism incarnate, as Signer’s gift turned out to be…an autographed copy of his own book on James Madison!

Mayor Signer, in his remarks, bizarrely went on to promote the book by mentioning his hope that people who generally focus on Thomas Jefferson—as Mr. Khan stated he has done— would take note of Madison’s contributions to the nation’s founding.

Ironically, during his August 15 presentation to Mr. and Mrs. Khan, neither Signer nor his colleagues made mention of Charlottesville City Council’s 2012 resolution opposing Operation Enduring Freedom and calling for diminished military spending.

At the presentation’s conclusion, Khizr and Ghazala Khan seemed genuinely grateful for their recognition before City Council and for the subsequent affection displayed by the audience. Mayor Mike Signer, however—stealing a page from Barack Obama’s self-aggrandizing playbook—took what should have been a thoroughly graceful moment and turned it slightly awkward.

Update 8/17/2016: H/T to reader “Jim” who notes that “Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq”, as referenced in the Charlottesville resolution, was actually Afghanistan, and Captain Humayun Khan died in “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

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Rob Schilling is founder of the multi-award-winning Schilling Show Blog and News, proprietor of Schilling Show Media; host of both the Schilling Show Unleashed Podcast and WINA's The Schilling Show heard weekdays at noon; husband; father; worship leader, Christian recording artist and Community Watchdog.


  1. Operation Enduring Freedom was Afghanistan
    Operation Iraqi Freedom was Iraq
    Captain Khan was killed in Iraq so there was probably a good reason why they didn’t mention the 2012 resolution opposing Operation Enduring Freedom.
    I am a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and from my point of view the Khans are dishonoring their son who served with honor by allowing his memory to be politicized.

  2. “Politicizing” is when someone makes a political point for the other side. Since the Khans knew their son, and what he believed and why he fought, they’re in a position to know what honors him and what would dishonor him. We are not.

  3. Is it as obvious to others as it is to me that Mr Signer is laying a foundation for runs for higher office? He certainly has the necessary ego for it. I will bet he will run for Congress if Jane Dittmar is defeated by Sen. Garrett.


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