The Sun Herald reports:
GULFPORT -- Ninety-one World War II veterans were greeted at Gulfport/Biloxi International Airport with an enthusiastic welcome by their neighbors Tuesday evening. Water cannon plumes arched over the runway on their approach, and they received a salute by Marines and U.S. Navy personnel, city leaders and thousands of others at the terminal who came to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport to welcome them home.
The veterans returned about 7:45 p.m. from Washington aboard the sixth Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight, after a day of viewing the World War II memorial and other monuments, and basking in the spotlight of national media attention.
Nearly 200 veterans and their guardians were met with barricades earlier Tuesday as they arrived at the World War II Memorial. The federal government shutdown closed all national parks, but it didn't stop the veterans from visiting the memorial created in their honor.
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo met them at the memorial with a plan to move the barricade. Palazzo, who cast votes that helped lead to the shutdown, and U.S. Reps. Richard Nugent of Florida, Louis Gohmert of Texas and Spencer Bachus of Alabama walked through the crowd of more than 100 veterans from Mississippi and Iowa, as well as onlookers and reporters, to cut the yellow police tape and move the barricades to let the veterans enter the memorial they had flown from Gulfport to see.
Palazzo spokeswoman Laura Chambers said the National Park Service refused to move the barricades and said Palazzo and other congressmen would have to move them at their own risk.
"They would not remove the barrier, but they would not stand in our way. We still don't know if there will be repercussions," Chambers said. "The congressman said it's better to ask forgiveness than permission."
"This is the best civil disobedience we've seen in Washington in a long time," U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan said in front of the Mississippi Tower of the World War II memorial.
The entire Honor Flight group was able to view the memorial, though the water fountains were turned off.
Park Service spokeswoman Carol Johnson said the agency closed the memorial again after the Honor Flight veterans left.
She said it will be up to the National Park Police how to react if veterans keep trying to visit the memorial erected in their honor.... Rest of article
The Ace of Spades provided more coverage:
Before we go any further, let us note once again how contrived it is to shut down entryways to a wide open space out in the middle of a park.
This is not a building, like a museum, that has doors and staffers and guides. This is ****ing scenery.
And yet the erected artificial barriers to block people from walking through outdoor scenery.
Voila! Now we can pretend a memorial standing unsupervised out in the open is a "National Park" or "Open Air Museum" and close it to pedestrian traffic (and people can in fact just walk through this thing in their normal transversing of the city).
Now, that out of the way: They then took the next step.
When they were informed that the Honor Flight was on the way, and that they should make one exception for the veterans of WWII and open up the artificial barriers they had erected to make a political point, they refused.
"Palazzo, a Gulf War Marine veteran who has participated in all five of the Honor Flights, blames the White House for making it harder on veterans and playing politics. “At first I thought it was a huge bureaucratic oversight,” Palazzo told The Daily Caller, “but having talked with the officials I can’t help but think this was politically motivated. Honor Flights, which bring WWII veterans to the nation’s memorials, are planned a year in advance and cost anywhere between $80,000 to $100,000. How low can you get with playing politics over our nation’s veterans?"
There are no "schedule hours" for scenery. The monument does not close on weekends, or at night.
Because it's scenery.
It is a feature of the landscape.
And yet these See You Next Tuesdays attempted to create a fake "entryway" into a landscape feature so they could block it off and say "the Building is closed."
And then they doubled down.
Note The Lack of Walls and Gates and Barriers: From @slublog, here's what we're talking about.
Look at the gigantic "entrance" -- I don't know if you can call it an "entrance" when it's just a huge area of No Walls out in the middle of a grassy lawn.
Think about all the work it took to turn an open air landscape feature into a blocked off Instant National Park Which Is Now Shut Down You Guys. Rest of post
Think we are being too hard on the bureaucraps? Here is what the government's own website says:
The public may visit the World War II Memorial 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily and to provide interpretive programs every hour on the hour from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
In other words, the feds went out of their way to block access to the park.