“Due to the recent Government Shutdown we have been informed that all memorials will be closed and any attempt to access them will result in being arrested for trespassing (per NPS), Arlington Cemetery is the only exception.” – Information posted on the website of the Northwest Ohio Honor Flight
Tuesday, October 1
Nearly 200 World War II veterans arrived at the National Mall ready to visit the National World War II Memorial. As written on the memorial’s website, "The ... memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and all who supported the war effort from home."
The veterans were flown to Washington, D.C. by the National Honor Flight Network,
an organization established to provide these members of “The Greatest Generation” with an all expenses paid trip to visit their memorial, which was only completed in 2004.
However, when they stepped off their bus, they found themselves in the midst of the recent government shutdown. Indeed, National Park Police had fenced off the memorial with a sign that read,“Because of the Federal Government SHUTDOWN, All National Parks are CLOSED.”
The elderly veterans, some in wheelchairs, passed through the removed barriers as police, park service employees, and tourists looked on. "It just goes to show you why we won World War II," said Lee Armstrong, president of Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio. "The Germans and the Japanese couldn't contain us. They weren't going to let barriers contain them today. They wanted to see their memorial."
In the meantime, a Park Police officer, who declined to give his name, said, “I’m not going to enforce the ‘no stopping or standing’ sign for a group of 90 World War II veterans. I’m a veteran myself.”
Lachlan Markay, a reporter for The Washington Free Beacon tweeted, “We’re looking about how to deal with this in the future”, said Carol Johnson, a Park Police spokesman.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Through the month of October, more than 35,000 World War II veterans were scheduled to visit their memorial, more than 900 in the next five days alone. With this in mind, the Obama administration reacted swiftly to the obvious insult given them by the World War II veterans on the previous day. The Park Police were given instructions by the White House to install fencing around the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. When the Northwest Ohio Honor Flight group inquired to the U.S. National Park Service about future visits, were told of the shutdown and “any attempt to access them will result in being arrested for trespassing”.
Needless to say, members of the lamestream media just had to publish their enchanting ways of commenting on the news of the previous day. One example was by New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait who tweeted, “Idea: fortify WW II memorial with tank traps and pillboxes manned by elderly Germans”. He later rebutted his statement by claiming he was mocking tourists and not the veterans. However, neither the veterans nor Twitter users were accepting his rebuttal.Thursday, October 3, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
The National Park Service announced today that veterans had the legal right to visit the World War II Memorial and would not be barred in the future. However, it was also reported that military cemeteries at Normandy, Omaha Beach, as well as all others across the world were closed due to the federal shutdown.
We veterans wonder why our government is treating us so poorly. Have we done something wrong? After all, when we were sent to far away lands to defend our country, we expected in return only what was promised to us. Unfortunately, those promises are not being kept. And, for good measure, our government is insulting us along the way. Why is that?