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Park Service Deems WWII Visits a First Amendment Demonstration, Doesn’t Block Vets

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) accuses GOP lawmakers who showed up to support veterans of “tacky” move to score political points.

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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October 2, 2013 - 4:46 pm
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WASHINGTON – Hundreds of veterans were able to access the shuttered World War II Memorial on Wednesday, a day after another group demanded access at a closed gate and forced their way in with the help of a few members of Congress.

The National Mall’s memorials are closed as part of the government shutdown, with barricades placed around them Tuesday morning after the government shutdown took effect at midnight.

That did not stop the veterans from visiting the memorial Tuesday, when a group of Honor Flight veterans visited the memorial and a handful of lawmakers led by Reps. Steve Palazzo (R-Miss.) and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) helped to move barricades to allow the group inside the WWII Memorial.

The memorial, opened in 2004, is an open-air memorial open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As of Tuesday morning, however, barricades and tape blocking access to visitors have surrounded the entire area.

A day after the initial act of civil disobedience, hundreds of veterans on Honor Flights, despite warnings from the National Park Service that all national monuments were closed to the public, traveled to Washington, D.C., from Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. Members of Congress, led by Bachmann, met the groups at the WWII Memorial and removed the barriers around 11:00 a.m.

Arriving Wednesday morning, the veterans, many of them in wheelchairs and escorted by Honor Flight Network guardians, found the barricades open for them on one side of the memorial.

Parks police did not prevent the first group from entering Tuesday, nor did they interfere with the Wednesday groups.

The memorial was surrounded by dozens of onlookers who applauded the veterans as they made their way to the memorial.

Several lawmakers were also in tow to greet the veterans. Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas), and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) were among a growing group of lawmakers on site at the memorial.

“There shouldn’t be any politics associated with the World War II Memorial, there shouldn’t be any politics associated with these veterans, whose communities have raised money so they can be here,” said Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.).

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said it was “tacky” that lawmakers were there to score political points.

“There’s people here who have nothing to do,” said McCaskill, who was there to greet a group of veterans from Missouri. ”They’re just trying to score a political point.”

Five Honor Flights were planned for this week, with many more scheduled until Thanksgiving.

Carol Johnson, a National Park Service spokeswoman, said the veterans groups had been granted access Wednesday because it was deemed a First Amendment demonstration. The memorial was still closed to the public, but the media, lawmakers and some curious onlookers were also able to get through the barricade.

Veteran Bo Bohannon of Kansas told the lawmakers greeting him at the memorial on the warm October morning that he was happy to see them out there.

“I like seeing politicians sweat,” he told lawmakers.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
"The Democratic National Committee answered this with an email to supporters calling it a 'meaningless stunt.'"

And putting up barriers around an open air memorial to signify it is "closed" is NOT a meaningless stunt?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said it was “tacky” that lawmakers were there to score political points.”

A question for Claire. Why does the majority of the Missouri electorate so shamelessly dishonor the sacrifices and services to this great nation of all veterans by electing progressive jackasses like you? This entire disgusting stunt was choreographed by your party for the specific purpose of trying to setup the Republicans for childish blame-game purposes, and you know it.

On one hand, where do we get the likes of these veterans and, on the other, where do we get the likes of pathetic political creeps like Claire McCaskill?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
why do Democrats project their crass intentions onto others?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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It looks as if there are still some people in the government who understand what "government of by and for the People" means.

NOT however this Senator on the gravy train paid for by the citizens who are the actual owners/proprietors of that government.

Or those misbegotten who continue to elect her and people like her to the cushy job of what was once upon a time "PUBLIC SERVANT" (emphasis added for those who don't understand that as THE Job Description of this Sen. McCaskill and those like her. Who seem to believe once the perks and status of "Honourable" as "Represenatative of the People" are achieved they become princes of some sort of royal court.

And what can be said about those people who vote for, and continue to vote her and those like her iinto their cushy jobs?

"Democrats" they call lthemselves, Do ANY of them KNOW what the word democrat means?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
O/T Can someone please ban these cretins who spam the comments with their "work-at-home" ads? Remove the posts, too, please?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
“There’s people here who have nothing to do,” said McCaskill, who was there to greet a group of veterans from Missouri. ”They’re just trying to score a political point.”

Do you think those veterans would have been allowed to go in, if the lawmakers had not been there to lead the way? The police really do not like to arrest Congressmen. It's bad for one's career.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where: Minute Man National Historic Park

When: Sunday October 6th at noon

Why: they have closed this heritage site to the public because of the government shutdown.....we will see about that!

Please get the word out!

Sincerely,

Paul Revere
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
A political stunt. This cretin senator from Missouri should have been on hand to welcome the World War Two veterans. This moment in time is not about the GOP, Claire, but it is about those who served with distinction and incredable valor.
This week in their honor I have reread two biographies of General George Patton and also Patton's "War As I Knew It." The list of American each week of the Third Army's campaign is staggering and to have a Missiour senator, with no sense of history, to speak in such a dismissive manner of the survivers of World War 2 is unacceptable because she has no sense of patriotism and gratitude.
Claire has no honor, no integrity, and is unworthy to sit in the senate of the U.S.A. She is a disgrace to the Nation.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Meaningless stunt...
That would be, like, the Parks Department taking down its web page?
How many bureaucrats had to work every day to keep that web page on line?

oh, wait. It's government. I don't want to know. There's probably a whole office tasked with logging on every day, looking at the web page, saying "Yep. Still there." and filling out reports.

Never mind.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Democratic National Committee answered this with an email to supporters calling it a 'meaningless stunt.'"

And putting up barriers around an open air memorial to signify it is "closed" is NOT a meaningless stunt?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
That same DNC with the Chair Nancy Pelosi and Second from Hillary Clinton that in 2008 "certified" BH Obama as "eligible" as nominee for President of the USA??

Without the necessary qualifier "legally eligible" per Constitution.

Odd that such a significant qualifier was omitted. By two VERY experienced lawyers. Who MUST know that detail is often determinant in legal argument
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said it was “tacky” that lawmakers were there to score political points.”

I'd like to ask this hag if she felt th same way when Nancy Pelosi and the Black Democratic Caucus marched to the Capitol taunting the Tea Party protestors when they first passed Obamacare? When they were trolling for racist rearks so they could scream racism. Anybody remember that? I'd like to shove that image down McCaskill's ugly throat.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
They are open air public property. We should be able to OCCUPY these locations.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
It was still a creative use of language to defy the white house's specific orders to keep the veterans out.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
She was there though.

Maybe she got her appointment date confused.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
She, being McCaskill
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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