On Monday, just hours into a government shutdown, the Park Police tried to block access to the WWII memorial. The memorial, which is basically a landscape feature in a public park, was temporarily cut off from veterans of World War II on a charity mission to see the memorial for the first time. Breitbart News has learned that the federal government specifically activated members of the Park Police to block the veteran’s access.
The visit, organized by the charity Honor Flights, which brings WWII veterans to DC to see the memorial to their sacrifice, had been known for some time. The organization had even sought approval from the White House for the visit, in light of the legislative drama over the budget fight. What ought to have been a simple request turned into even greater drama as the federal government actively called up resources to block the veteran visit.
A source on Capitol Hill told Breitbart News exclusively that a Park Police officer told them they were summoned from furlough to police the memorial against the veterans. “They got a call in the early hours Monday,” the source told Breitbart News. “They had been furloughed, but were being called up to guard the Memorial.”
I can’t stress enough how little there is to guard. The WWII Memorial is an open structure on the National Mall, which is, effectively, a public park. Thousands of cars drive past it every day. It is accessible by any pedestrian. There is no “entrance” to close or no access that needs to be monitored. It is literally like walking up to a statue in your local park.
Yet, knowing veterans were coming to visit, the government not only tried to shut off access, it apparently called up furloughed workers to enforce the security. Of a memorial. Against the very people whose sacrifice inspired it.
There is perhaps no greater sign that the federal government is out of touch with the general public. Fortunately, in this case, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) temporarily distracted the Park Police officers and the WWII veterans tore down the barricades.
Once again, America’s “greatest generation” has answered to call to lead.