Quite honestly, the closure of the open air memorials on the National Mall has been among the more bizarre post-shutdown moves that those in authority have taken. Ordinarily, these memorials are open all day and night every day of the year. To the extent that they are staffed, it is typically by National Park Service employees giving guided tours, not by Park Police (although there may be regular patrols of these memorials at night by officers as part of their regular rounds). The fact that these employees, who are essentially just tour guides aren’t around doesn’t really detract at all from the experience of visiting the memorials themselves. Those employees are generally not present after dark during normal times anyway, and yet no effort is ever made to restrict anyone from visiting those locations during the night. Indeed, seeing the Vietnam, Korea, and World War II Memorials at night when they are lit up is something that D.C. area residents and tourists commonly do when the weather permits. It’s also worth noting that the closure policy also applies to the Martin Luther King Jr. and FDR Memorials, both of which are also open air, and the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, both of which are also common locations for nocturnal walking tours of the Mall. Furthermore, it arguably cost the government more to erect the barricades and staff the memorials with Park Police than it would have to keep them open albeit without the tour guides.That's very well said, and very generous to those in charge. If I had written that paragraph, I would have said that anyone who would order the closing of open-air memorial is a worthless sonofabitch, undeserving of our nation's respect. If the President himself had any respect for the warriors, living and dead, who are immortalized in those memorials, he would immediately order that the Park Police stand down. He hasn't, which makes him a worthless sonofabitch.
Sunday, October 06, 2013
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one that I've long had on my bucket list to see. I've got some friends on that wall, and one day soon, I may make the trip to Washington to walk on the mall and pay my respects to friends who are listed there. It seems that our President doesn't have the respect that I do for our veterans, because all evidence shows that he's closing the memorials to the brave men and women that those memorials represent. Doug Macontis says it well.