Memorials Used as Pawns in Shutdown

Tuesday, 08 Oct 2013 11:17 AM

By Simon Conway

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Government hacks: Stop using our vets as pawns in your sick chess game.
 
History teaches us things for those who can be bothered to read from time to time. It teaches us that in 1996 during the last shutdown, national monuments and memorials remained open.
 
It teaches us that if you do some research, then the practicality of closing them as opposed to leaving them open means what we are witnessing is a deliberate political decision with a motive of pettiness and mean-spiritedness that almost defies belief.
 
And the list is endless — in 1996 Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial remained open.
 
“Despite the federal government shutdown and an unrepaired sign that reads ‘Arizona Memorial closed,’ tourists are still getting expert commentary about the World War II memorial at Pearl Harbor,” according to The Associated Press on January 1, 1996.
 
Right now — for the very first time in history — the Lincoln Memorial is totally beyond the reach of citizens and visitors. Yes, it stayed open during all 17 previous shutdowns since 1976.
 
The Founding Fathers Tavern was open during the last shutdown, but this time the privately owned business has been forced to close. It opened for the first time in 1773 and was frequented by the nation's founding fathers. It sits inside Independence National Historical Park and the building is owned by the U.S. National Parks Service. Fill in the rest of the blanks for yourself, except spare a thought for Chef Walter Staib who had to cancel at the very last minute a party of 200 visitors from Japan. There’s nothing wrong with his business. His 100-person staff is now laid off.
 
Mount Vernon is completely privately owned. Not taken a dime in federal money. It is run by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and its website proudly reads: “NO SHUTDOWN HERE – the federal government may be shut down, but Washington’s home remains open. Mount Vernon has remained a private non-profit for more than 150 years.”
 
But that hasn’t stopped them from trying to close it. Knowing they couldn’t actually close George Washington’s home, they barricaded the parking lots outside. These are co-owned by Mount Vernon and the National Parks Service.
 
The feds have done this with other parking lots too, like at the Minuteman National Park. People still came and went to see the monuments, but had to park outside the barricaded parking lot. The government managed to find someone to come along and ticket them.
 
So that brings us to war memorials. Ask yourselves some questions before you get to the big question. The WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., was built with public money. It is open 24-7-365. It needs no guards and when I was personally there a short while ago, and I didn’t see anyone in authority around it.
 
It stands unbarricaded and unguarded the entire time that the federal government is NOT shut down, but now that it is shut down those same people find the need to barricade and guard it to “protect it” — from who exactly? The 80- and 90-year-old WWII Vets who want to make one final trip to remember their fallen brothers?
 
This act is so despicable and frankly so politically charged, that you know in your heart of hearts that the order to shut it down came from the Oval Office itself. Who else would risk the president’s reputation — even amongst his supporters — without his personal permission?
 
And so the government is furloughing workers because of money. After that, they hire workers (indications are that they are the exact same people who will receive back pay when the shutdown is over) to barricade and guard what needs no guards when the government is open.
 
Our WWII vets ignored the barricades of Normandy and even though they are in their 80s and 90s now, to think they wouldn’t have the same spirit today is a huge miscalculation.
 
So now the federal government has gone further — using sandbags and wire ties to keep the barricades in place. However, these people ran into machine gun fire while moving through much bigger barricades. It won’t work and frankly We the People won’t let it work.
 
Simon Conway is the afternoon drive host of News Radio 1040 WHO-AM in Des Moines, Iowa, a 50,000-watt powerhouse where Ronald Reagan started his career. Conway was born in London. He began his professional career as a 16-year-old journalist at the Jerusalem Post in 1976. Read more reports from Simon Conway — Click Here Now.
 
 

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