D.C. monuments barricaded during shutdown

Extras! Blog   —   Posted on October 3, 2013

NOTE: Barricades went up in national parks across Washington, D.C. Wednesday, Oct. 2, including the Lincoln Memorial. Although President Obama claims that he can’t avoid shutting down public sites and monuments, war memorials were in fact kept open during the 1995/1996 government shutdowns (when Democratic President Bill Clinton was in office).  The administration’s decision to barricade the Lincoln Memorial marks the first time in its history the memorial has been totally off limits to visitors during a shutdown.  

(from DougErnstBlog.com) – Having lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for years now, I thought I was dreaming on Oct. 1 when reports came in that World War II veterans were being told they would not be allowed to visit the national monument built in their honor. The idea is disgusting in general, but for those who have ever been to the nation’s capital it makes no sense: the monuments are natural parts of the cityscape, open-air tributes to our nation’s heroes that visitors have always been able to view – at any time of day. The government would have to go to bizarre lengths in order to prevent people from having access to most of the city’s monuments.


“WWII veteran Ted Bellon, 87, broke down in tears when asked if he was upset he had to see the WWII Memorial from behind a fence.”

What kind of sick and twisted individuals would go out of their way to cause stress and heartache on World War II veterans with only a few years left to live? Answer: The kind of people who would order the closing of a national park that doesn’t even receive federal funding:

The National Park Service has ordered the closure of a Virginia park that sits on federal land, even though the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation.

The Claude Moore Colonial Farm announced on Wednesday that NPS has ordered it to suspend operations until Congress agrees to a deal to fund the federal government.

According to Anna Eberly, managing director of the farm, NPS sent law enforcement agents to the park on Tuesday evening to remove staff and volunteers from the property.

“You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money,” she said.

The Obama administration might not be happy with House Republicans, but it is showing its displeasure with them by needlessly and vindictively finding ways to inflict pain on the American people. The same thing was done during sequestion – but it got caught:  An internal federal government email sent [in March during the sequestration] instructed an official with a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure that sequester-related cuts inflict as much pain as possible to make sure “you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.” …

The White House predicted pain, and so they will deliver pain – even when they don’t have to. These days, World War II veterans are their targets.

… Where are we at as a nation when elected officials are so hungry for power that they would use our last remaining World War II veterans as pawns in a Congressional chess match? It takes a seriously disturbed and demented mind to order government workers to place barricades in front of the National World War II Memorial.

(From an October 2 post at DougErnstBlog.com. Excerpted here with permission.)

  • Vindictive Democrats, or necessary closure?:

    Mount Vernon is the former plantation of George Washington and is owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which doesn’t receive any government funding. The attraction’s official website reads, “NO SHUTDOWN HERE – The Federal government may be shut down, but Washington’s home remains open. Mount Vernon has remained a private non-profit for more than 150 years.”

    Despite this fact, the National Park Service erected barricades to shut down parking lots surrounding the privately owned historic home. The parking lots are co-owned by Mount Vernon and the federal National Parks Service (NPS), but require no immediate maintenance at all. The National Park Service still chose to erect barricades to shut them down. …