At the same time, I understand why the Parks Service closed and barricaded the memorial. People are saying that such an open, concrete area should not be closed to the public. I think closing it was the correct decision. The National Parks Service provides security (against vandals and terrorists), cleans the restrooms, has medical personnel on standby, and provides guides and other services. However, I think if they had asked veteran organizations in the DC area to provide these services at no cost, many groups would have volunteered. You still have to admire the marbles on these WWII vets.
It appears to me that the event may have been staged. Republican members of Congress, including Michele Bachmann, were there as well as the media with cameras etc. for this photo op. Surprise, surprise! Attention should have been on the veterans and their sacrifice, but the politicians stepped in front of the cameras to steal the spotlight (http://clicktotweet.com/d6XE1). They diverted attention to the government shut down and budget.
Now the Parks Services says that they will not try to hold back visitors. Congress is proposing bills to fund the National Parks, veterans funds, and the District of Columbia. You will have a hard time convincing me that this was not a planned political event. I hate to see veterans exploited to make a political statement. I am sure that the veterans’ visit was sincere.
In other news, Pope Francis wants to modernize the Catholic Church. I recommend that he start
by allowing priests to marry. If you ask clergy why they can’t marry, you may hear that it is because Jesus was not married. If you study the history of not allowing priest to marry, you discover that it has nothing to do with Jesus being single—if he was single. The early church allowed it. Even today, the Catholic Church allows some married priests (long story for another day). Then there is the whole issue of gay priests and female priests (also a long story).