If you’ve never visited the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. you really should. It is a beautiful and fitting testament to the invaluable sacrifices made by so many Americans in the name of freedom. It is also outdoors, located on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
Since it’s an outdoor, open-air memorial, one has to wonder why the Obama Administration would attempt to close it on the first day of the government shutdown. There are no doors, gates, or elevators that might require attendants to be employed there. There is no gift shop for federal employees to manage. There aren’t even any bathrooms that need cleaning.
So the question remains, why would the Obama administration erect physical barriers and rope off the area with caution tape most commonly found at crime scenes?
Common sense gives us an answer: to make WWII veterans and other visitors feel some pain from the government shutdown.
You see, every day Honor Flights bring WWII veterans and their families from all over the country to the WWII Memorial. Most of these veterans would never be able to see their memorial otherwise, and most – because of their age – will never see it again.
They get one chance to see the memorial erected in their honor, and this week, President Obama sought to take it away. By blockading the monument, Obama sought to deny these heroes their one chance to see the nation they defended say thank you.
This is not a pointless cruelty. By trying to keep WWII veterans out, Obama meant to inflict pain on them, pain that he hoped would turn into anger and resentment that would then be channeled at House Republicans and Tea Party conservatives whom Obama would like to blame for the shutdown.
He hoped these vets wouldn’t learn the truth that House Republicans have passed a bill to keep national parks and monuments open and that it’s Obama’s Senate ally, “Shutdown” Harry Reid (D-NV) that is blocking those very bills.
This insult is a national disgrace. To think that the very heroes who stormed Omaha beach or the shores of Iwo Jima would in their twilight years be blockaded from their memorial – by their own government – is sickening.
Thankfully, as with everything else, Obama’s plan failed. Did he really think that men who had faced Kamikaze bombers and Panzer tanks would let a little metal fence and some plastic tape stop them? How foolish. With the help of Reps. Michele Bachmann, Steve King, and Louie Gohmert – the very Tea Party conservatives Obama hates – WWII veterans and their families pushed the gates aside, defied their government, and took their memorial back.
President Obama should be ashamed and these veterans should be cheered.