At the stroke of midnight Monday, for the first time in 17 years, an impasse in Congress has initiated a government shut down.
Inexplicably, one of the first effects felt is that elderly veterans will be barred from the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The National Park Service confirmed that the World War II Memorial on the Washington Mall is expected to be barricaded by daybreak, according to Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes. An area for passenger buses will be blocked off, restrooms will be closed and the water will be turned off.
Starnes further reported that a spokesperson told him park police will be on duty to make sure no one enters the outdoor plaza.
Much as we saw with sequestration, where White House tours for the public were halted, even as friends and supporters continued to have access, the Obama administration appears determined to ensure that the effects of a government shut down are as visible as possible.
The mean-spirited action has prompted U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., to call on President Obama to accommodate the aging warriors.
“I’m angry and I’m heartbroken,” Rep. Steven Palazzo told Fox News. “This is how we are going to treat them? I think it’s a low-down move.”
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is also upset over the decision, saying that federal funding priorities are “all out of whack.”
“This is unbelievable,” Palin told Starnes. “Where is the president’s respect for our fallen, for America’s finest?”
With 91 Mississippi World War II veterans expected to arrive in Washington, D.C. early Tuesday as part of an Honor Flight, Palazzo said “this may be the only opportunity for some of these veterans to see the memorial in their lifetime.”
Honor Flight is a national network of non-profit organizations dedicated to transporting World War II military veterans, most are in their eighties and nineties, to see “their” memorial.
Palazzo told Fox News that it seems as though the National Park Service is wasting a lot of time blocking off the open-air plaza.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense because this is an open-air memorial,” he said. “Allow them to walk through there and lay flowers and pay respect to their fallen brothers. We owe everything to them.”