Evidently, we can now add “World War II veterans” to the list of the Obama administration’s political enemies.
Last Wednesday, the National Park Service blocked access to the national memorials and attempted to arrest World War II veterans who were in town visiting their memorial for the first and likely last time as part of a program called “Honor Flight.”
Park Service officers say the Obama administration ordered the barricades, citing the government shut down (see story and JW photo here). But there is no legal justification for closing the memorials, which is open to the public 24 hours a day, much less arresting war heroes. The memorial was paid for with private donations, and the government is actually spending more money to keep it closed than to allow it to be open!
And it’s not just memorials in DC: “Visitors have not been able to pay their respects to the 9,387 military dead at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach since the U.S. government shut it down on Monday,” the Associated Press reported.
As I said in an interview with OneNewsNow, this is Chicago-style politics at its worst:
It’s like a Chicago ward operation running our government here in Washington, DC. They’re spending money to try to punish political enemies–and seemingly the administration considers its political enemies to be veterans and tourists trying to come and visit Washington. We saw the shutting down of open-air memorials as an outrage.
Of course the veterans would have none of it. They pushed past the barricades and National Park Service security and continued their mission to see the World War II memorial built to honor their sacrifice and the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in battle. I hear that patriotic police on the scene pretended not to see what was going on.
I can tell as soon as we heard, Judicial Watch has initiated an investigation literally within an hour. We filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of the Interior to find out how and why this ridiculous decision was made. And who made it.
Judicial Watch has many veterans on staff and thousands who support our work. I personally went to the WWII Memorial to investigate. While I was there Wednesday afternoon, I counted at least six National Park Service personnel and three vehicles being used to secure the site from visiting veterans and tourists. I also saw at least one active Navy seaman there to visit and unable to enter the Memorial. The Park Service personnel had placed metal ties on the fencing to keep them in place. I witnessed Park Service employees also placing sand bags to help secure the fencing! Here are some pictures I took at the scene for you to see.
News regarding the Obama barricades is breaking by the hour. And I will have more for you as events develop.
I don’t know how the government fiscal battles are going to be resolved but I do think one thing should result from this:
Clean house at the Interior Department and the National Park Service. And any White House official involved in desecrating–yes, I consider it to be desecration–these war memorials and military cemeteries should lose their jobs.