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Ohio vets ready to storm World War II Memorial

By   /   October 7, 2013  /   13 Comments

Part 37 of 51 in the series Shutdown 2013

 

AP photo

MORE ARE COMING: World War II Army veteran Jack Poitras of Barnhart, Mo., plays Taps Wednesday as a group of Missouri veterans visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. This week, a group of Ohio veterans will make the trip.

 

By Maggie Thurber | for Ohio Watchdog

World War II veterans from Ohio are the next wave of war-worn warriors vowing to defy orders and storm barricades at a memorial built in their honor in Washington, D.C.

An outpouring of support from across the country — and the willingness of guests and volunteers to risk arrest — helped Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio proceed with its scheduled trip Wednesday to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“We’d been watching the issue for several weeks,” said Lee Armstrong, the group’s president. “We planned the flight back in May, but knowing they were talking about a government shutdown on Oct. 1, we kept watching and told our volunteers to be ready.”

Honor Flight is a national nonprofit that gives veterans free transportation so they can see war memorials. More than 3,500 veterans from across the country are scheduled to visit the memorials this month.

Watching and waiting gave them time to see what happened when Honor Flight groups from Mississippi and Iowa refused to let barricades at the monument stop them from visiting and paying tribute Tuesday.

On Wednesday, more veterans moved the barricades to gain access and the National Park Service issued an announcement that, despite the government shutdown, the memorial would remain open to veterans under the First Amendment.

Armstrong was told Tuesday by a woman at the National Park Service who refused to give her name that if his Honor Flight group crossed the barricades that had been set up, they were going to be arrested.

When he questioned if they were really going to arrest a bunch of 90-year-old veterans, she told him to “have a good day,” and then hung up, he said.

“We have several individuals on this flight who are prominent members of the community. We didn’t want to risk having them arrested,” he said.

So they announced the potential cancelation of the trip on their webpage, but not before sending emails to local congressional representatives, the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate and the White House objecting to the threat of arrest.

And that’s when the media frenzy started, Armstrong said.

“No one replied,” Armstrong said, “but several of the offices gave our name out to the press and it’s been nonstop since then.”

As news of their threatened arrest spread, the emails started pouring in. “I haven’t even read half of them yet, there’s so many,” he said.

Supporters voted to storm “the gates if it comes to that,” while another said he would serve as a “human shield” to stand between the veterans and authorities.

Last week, the Republican National Committee offered to cover the cost of hiring furloughed security officers for the next 30 days to ensure the Memorial stayed open to the public – and they called on the Democratic National Committee to join them.

Between the emails and the news reports, by Wednesday evening Armstrong was leaning toward making the trip, but he needed to check with everyone first.

Then Friday morning, The Weekly Standard reported the barricades around the WWII Memorial had been reinforced with wire. They also reported that vets and others had been removed from the area around the Vietnam Memorial.

“We have 15 Korean vets as guests along with 57 WWII vets. We have some Vietnam vets who are guardians to help family members who are guests on the flight,” Armstrong said, noting that several of the guests are terminally ill and this may be their last opportunity to see the Memorials.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, said the group should come, but U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, recommended they stay home because of the lack of restroom facilities and interpretive staff.

“The fountain’s not working, there’s no interpretation, it’s just not the same,” she told the Toledo Blade.

Fountains or not, the vets and guardians were asked their preference and they said, “Let’s go!”

“This will not be the first time we went to Washington, D.C., when the memorials were not shiny and perfect,” Armstrong said. “We’ve had two seasons where the reflecting pool was closed and torn up, and several flights where the WWII Memorial was partially closed due to water main repairs. This did not deter the determination of the veterans to enjoy the meaning of what they represent to them.”

This story originally was published Oct. 6.

Part of 51 in the series Shutdown 2013
  1. Shutdown plan: Virginia will carry federally funded state workers until Oct. 4
  2. OKC National Memorial and Museum will stay open regardless of federal shutdown
  3. TN rep equates looming government shutdown with hostage crisis
  4. Government shutdown won’t shut down NSA spying
  5. 7 myths about a federal government shutdown
  6. Obamacare goes full-speed ahead as military pay enters uncharted waters
  7. Shutdown sparks New Jersey confusion about Obamacare
  8. Federal shutdown could furlough 57,000 Virginians
  9. ‘Business as usual’ for PA state government as feds prepare for shutdown
  10. Union plans rally as MN braces for federal shutdown
  11. Only government you don’t know about could go away in Illinois
  12. Shutdown? NM seems OK on the state level, but federal workers will feel the pinch
  13. WI congressional delegation soldiers on in Obamacare-shutdown battle
  14. Shutdown? What shutdown? States will carry on despite impasse in Washington
  15. McAuliffe tries to ride shutdown to victory in November
  16. NM delegation on gov’t shutdown: It’s the other side’s fault
  17. Panda Cam goes dark as government shutdown cripples cute
  18. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin: I’m shutting down, too
  19. Missouri’s Wagner declines congressional pay during shutdown
  20. GIs take first battle of government shutdown
  21. The horror: Shutdown delays pro-Obamacare video contest
  22. Obamacare device tax ‘devastating’ to TN manufacturers
  23. Did The New Republic call for Obama to dissolve Congress?
  24. 4 reasons to cross the Potomac during the shutdown
  25. Are furloughed park employees trying to pick a fight on Facebook?
  26. Shutdown is ‘boom time’ for political fundraising
  27. Sorry Yogi: Reid calls move to open parks a ‘wacky idea’
  28. World War II vets 90, government shutdown 0
  29. Shutdown shouldn’t alter NM oil and gas bottom line
  30. FL tourism industry is magic, shutdown or not
  31. Fed shutdown leaves Americans stranded abroad
  32. Government shutdown brings relief to Main Street
  33. GOP’s Johanns: People mad, feel ‘duped’ into believing government shutdown would stop ObamaCare
  34. Chris Matthews’ weak grasp of government shutdown history
  35. U.S. senator turns total shutdown into partial shutdown
  36. Fed shutdown grounds plan to airdrop possibly harmful substance on TN land
  37. Ohio vets ready to storm World War II Memorial
  38. Some states battling with feds to keep parks, landmarks open during shutdown
  39. Federal tourist blockades called ‘vindictive’ in Virginia
  40. Veterans’ day: Ohio vets conquer World War II Memorial during government shutdown
  41. E-Verify: Is Obama happy to see right-to-work database go?
  42. Two battlefields raise the question: Who maintains Civil War sites?
  43. Contradictions abound in federal shutdown policy
  44. Park Service losing $76 million a day in shutdown
  45. Nebraska federal judge tells Congress to ‘go to hell’
  46. Shutdown renews call to move western forests, parks under state control
  47. How to make NM less vulnerable to federal gov’t shutdowns
  48. Are senators playing selective service in shutdown politics?
  49. Double dipping: Shutdown means double pay for Oregon federal workers
  50. No double dipping for furloughed federal workers in Virginia
  51. Not so fast: Federal workers in Wisconsin must repay unemployment benefits

Click here to LEARN HOW TO STEAL OUR STUFF!

Maggie Thurber is a contributor to Ohio Watchdog. Contact her at maggie@ohiowatchdog.org and follow her on Twitter @maggie82.

  • lakeside227

    Kaptur….what a disgrace…

  • http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/04/dhs-are-you-willing-to-die-for-your-king-i-am-willing-to-die-for-mine/ mountaindaisy

    She can’t even stand up for her supposed beloved veterans bec she is so far up Obama’s…The one thing I did like about Dennis Kucinich, who I rarely agreed with, at least he ALWAYS did what he said, and MEANT what he said, consistently, EVERYTIME. Not like this disgrace. Thirty years, what do we have to show? Not much.

  • Dapandico

    Stay away the water fountains aren’t working. We know the DNC can’t match the RNC in funding, the DNC is broke.

  • Michele Pollock Dalton

    Support your veterans by taking part in the Million Vet March, this Sunday, October 13 at 9 a.m. If you can’t make it to Washington D.C. then plan to meet at a local war memorial. More information is available on Facebook – search for “Million Vet March”

  • dachu3

    So this is the US army finally fighting against the Commies that Patton wanted to have…

    Go USA!!!!

  • http://facebook.com/metalchick007 Lisa Renee’ Jones

    The fact that there is an “Immigration Rally” tomorrow really ticks me off. Sponsored by SEIU and AFLCIO.
    TIME TO WAKE UP, AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chris

    The House could stop this by voting on a clean Continuing Resolution.

  • Rick

    The Senate could also stop this, by voting on either of a couple of the many bills sent them. The house has offered a number of deals, while the Senate refuses to vote on ANY bill presented.

  • SWohio

    This shutdown was planned by the Dems 18 months ago to be executed at the exact time as the obamacare ‘rollout’ because they knew that it would either be a complete fiasco, or would make people so furious they would turn on obama – and as it happened, it has done both, and quite well, too.

    Reid signed NO appropriations bills this year. If signed the shutdown would have been prevented. Reid refused to address the individual funding bills sent to him by a bipartisan House, that would fund everything that has been targeted by the obama administration.

    The signs were pre-printed, pre-positioned in parks and memorials across the country, and the manpower was pre-scheduled to insure that all targets were closed sometime between midnight Monday and early morning Tuesday 1 October.

    Schumer just accused Boehner of ‘planning the shutdown 18 months ago’. Specifically, ’18 months ago’.

    Thanks, Schumer. Now we have a timeline that can be investigated. A paper trail has to exist to cover the ordering and printing of the signs, the shipment and delivery of them, and the manpower assignments.

  • SWohio

    And there’s this:

    This shutdown was planned by the Dems 18 months ago to be executed at the exact time as the obamacare ‘rollout’ because they knew that it would either be a complete fiasco, or would make people so furious they would turn on obama – and as it happened, it has done both, and quite well, too.

    Reid signed NO appropriations bills this year. If signed the shutdown would have been prevented. Reid refused to address the individual funding bills sent to him by a bipartisan House, that would fund everything that has been targeted by the obama administration.

    The signs were pre-printed, pre-positioned in parks and memorials across the country, and the manpower was pre-scheduled to insure that all targets were closed sometime between midnight Monday and early morning Tuesday 1 October.

    Schumer just accused Boehner of ‘planning the shutdown 18 months ago’. Specifically, ’18 months ago’.

    Thanks, Schumer. Now we have a timeline that can be investigated. A paper trail has to exist to cover the ordering and printing of the signs, the shipment and delivery of them, and the manpower assignments.

  • Chris

    To be clear, you oppose a clean resolution?

  • Chris

    Same question as above. Do you oppose a clean resolution?

  • skiwyo

    If it weren’t elk season I would start driving today but protesting Obama isn’t worth that! I would be up for any other time. USMC Viet Nam vet

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