A spokesperson from the National Park Service confirmed Wednesday morning that Washington D.C.’s World War II Memorial was ordered closed by the White House Office of Management and Budget.
After Tuesday’s confrontation at the memorial, resulting in it once again being open to the public, logic would dictate that it remain open.
Thus especially makes sense given that the WWII Memorial is an open-air exhibit and actually requires more effort to close it than it does to keep it open. “It’s a sidewalk,” said U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday.
“What will they do next? Put a drape over Mount Rushmore?” Gohmert asked.
But that was not to be. Washington Examiner commentary writer Charlie Speiring tweeted this photo of the doings at the World War II Memorial Wednesday morning:
Live from the WWII memorial where park officials are setting up more gates and tape to block visitors pic.twitter.com/XkzBTWFMEE
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) October 2, 2013
Given the nonsense, one has to ask, who ordered the closure? The White House would have you believe that it’s all automatic and out of its hands. However, The Weekly Standard Senior Writer Stephen Hayes tweeted otherwise:
At the WWII Memorial, Carol Johnson w/the Park Service says they were told to close the site by White House’s Office of Management & Budget.
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) October 2, 2013
The Office of Management and Budget? The White House? This is reminiscent of an internal email uncovered and reported by The Washington Times in March, after the sequester cuts kicked in. A federal employee was ordered to make the cuts as painful as possible. Is this situation any different?
Here’s a photo of the confrontation between the press, politicians and veterans on one side, and the National Park Service spokeswoman.
Wednesday’s first Honor Flight of veterans — this time from Kansas — arrived at the World War II Memorial and was only permitted in after yet another confrontation. This time only the veterans were allowed to view the display erected to honor their service 70 years ago — no tourists.
That was Wednesday — but what about tomorrow, or next week?
The Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio President Lee Armstrong, whose group is scheduled to make the journey next week, claims it’s only going to get worse, according to NorthwestOhio.com.
He’s not even sure if his group is going to make the trek. “We will make the call this Friday to determine if the flight is still a go, or if we will have to re-schedule,” Armstrong said.
He confirmed that the original thinking was even if the government was still on shutdown, they could still go ahead with the trip.
But Armstrong got a shocker when he called the park service. He was told arrest could be in his group’s future if they went ahead.
“I said, are you kidding me? You’re going to arrest a 90, 91-year-old veteran from seeing his memorial? If it wasn’t for them it wouldn’t be there. She said, ‘That’s correct sir.’”
Armstrong said the park service employee hung up on him when he asked for her name.
99% of veterans on Honor Flights have never had the opportunity to see the memorial that is devoted to their service.
Through October, the are over 35,000 veterans scheduled to visit the site, more than 900 in the next five days alone.
To spend extra money to close an open-air memorial has only one word: Madness. Or is it revenge?