Torrential rain, lightning, thunder and strong winds have forced President Barack Obama to cancel a Memorial Day speech he'd scheduled at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois.
Obama took the stage at midday under the cover of a large umbrella to tell thousands of people who came to hear him speak that "a little rain never hurt anybody but we don't want anybody struck by lightning."
He asked people to return to their cars for safety.
Obama tried to wait out the storm in the cemetery's administration building. At one point he boarded a pair of buses to greet military families that came for the ceremony. Within the hour, however, reporters who accompanied the president to the cemetery were told that Obama would not be delivering the speech.
Obama had spoken at the Lincoln cemetery in 2005 when he was a U.S. senator. Lincoln created the system of national cemeteries during the Civil War.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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