WWII Vets: Nose Thumbing at Its Finest

World War II VetsOn Tuesday, 91 wheelchair bound, cane-toting old guys thumbed their noses at a government shutdown showing Congress exactly what the rest of the country is thinking. Keep arguing like a bunch of babies. We are done with you nonsense. We will visit our memorial and you can’t stop us. Three cheers for common sense.

The World War II veterans are part of the Honor Flight Program, which brings veterans to see the memorial from across the country. The program refuses to stop flights this week regardless of what a diddling Congress says. These men stormed the beaches at Normandy. Do we really believe a bike fence would turn them away?  Almost 1000 are scheduled to visit the memorial between today and Sunday and they have no intention of not getting on those planes. The Honor Flights were notified that the site would be closed and the organization, along with the vets, gave Congress a nose thumbing at its finest.

This morning found congress members helping to remove barriers that were replaced last night. After all, it might not look good to dictate to soldiers who saved our country in the forties, what they can and cannot do. And, if our congressional leaders can sense anything, it’s a stink big enough to wear off on them. Too bad they didn’t catch on until this morning.

In a public backpedal this morning; National Park Service Spokesperson Carol Johnson issued a statement. “The Honor Flights are being granted access to the WWII memorial to conduct First Amendment action in accordance with the National Park Service regulations applicable to the National mall and memorial parks.”

Excuse me, park service. Is there something about the message delivered loud and clear by a bunch of old guys yesterday that you don’t understand? They are not listening. They will enter a memorial that is privately funded, unmonitored by guards and open to the public at all times. Press thumb up against nose. The Park Service allowed nothing. People who fought for our freedom demanded it.

Comments were a change from yesterday after the vets, in their eighties and nineties, stormed the gates. “Because of the federal government shutdown,” the National Park Service’s World War II Memorial website said Tuesday, “all national parks are closed and National Park Service WebPages are not operating.”

Fred Yarow, an Army private in 1942, echoes the sentiments of a country. “It’s a disgrace to shut down the memorial,” he says. “The government is working for themselves, and not for the public.” The message seems clear. Scorn those that serve at your own risk Congress. And that means all of you from a president distancing himself from any responsibility to every member of both the House and Senate. Laying blame at someone else’s doorsteps absolves you of nothing.

The re-erecting of the barriers yesterday afternoon did nothing to cleanse the egg from your faces and this tomfoolery will not be soon forgotten. Spread the blame around. Your approval rating is a five percent. That’s not so bad. There’s always the next election right?

In other news, the panda cams have been turned off. Gibberish from on high cites funding. In truth, panda cams are paid for by the Ford Motor company fund. Nope, it’s not staff either. Volunteers run the extremely popular cams. Government in action: Fail.

As for defending our freedom, embracing democracy and realizing that sometimes in order to go forward we must compromise, I’m sticking with WWII vets and their nose thumbing at it’s finest.

Written by Linda Torkelson





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