Look, if the Germans and all their artillery couldn’t stop American soldiers from storming the beach at Normandy, France during World War II then there was no way the DC Park Police were going to stop them from storming through the gates of the World War II Memorial almost 70 years later. Government shutdown, government shumptdown.
Reports Stars and Stripes:
Wheelchair-bound elderly veterans pushed aside barricades to tour the World War II Memorial Tuesday morning, in defiance of the government shutdown which closed all of the memorials in the nation’s capital.
The four bus loads of veterans — visiting from Mississippi as part of a once-in-a-lifetime Honor Flight tour — ignored National Park Police instructions not to enter the site as lawmakers and tourists cheered them on.
“We didn’t come this far not to get in,” one veteran proclaimed.
The scene was both emotional and comical at once. After it was clear they had lost control of the situation, Park Police officials stood aside, telling press that they had “asked for guidance on how to respond” to the breach of security.
Okay, all jokes aside now, the whole thing seems at least in-part orchestrated by some of the same idiots in Congress who are actually responsible for the parks and memorials being closed.
Reports the Washington Post:
The graying and stooped men, wearing blue baseball caps, red T-shirts and garlands of red, white and blue flowers, surged forward, accompanied by members of Congress — the same lawmakers who, hours earlier, had triggered a government shutdown by failing to pass a budget resolution.
A shout went up. The barricades had been moved — it was unclear by whom.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he believed the Park Service opened the gates. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) said the congressmen did it. Rep. Steven M. Palazzo (R-Miss.) said the barricades just seemed to part.
Naturally, crazy-eyed garden gnome Michele Bachmann showed up to promise that she’d make sure the memorials stayed open during the shutdown. As a Gawker commenter noted: “WE ARE GUNNA SHUT DOWN THIS F*CKING GOVERNMENT EXCEPT ALL THE THINGS WE WANT TO BE OPEN WHICH WILL MAGICALLY FUND THEMSELVES THE SAME WAY TAX CUTS INCREASE REVENUE.”
And then there’s a rumor going around that the vets were flown in on a chartered plane so that the wingnuts in Congress responsible for the shutdown could use them as political pawns. Politicians are the f*cking worse.
UPDATE: A reader emailed to note that the many of the vets at the Memorial were indeed brought in on a charter flight, though one funded by Honor Flight, a seemingly non-partisan group dedicated to helping “fulfill the dreams of our veterans and help our heroes travel absolutely free.”
(Pic and Vine via Leo Shane)