For much of this last week, according to the spokespeople for the National Park Service, the NPS has asserted that the White House specifically ordered that they barricade the open air memorial commemorating the sacrifice and service of the veterans of World War II. In multiple statements to the press NPS spokespeople made it clear that they were directly instructed by the White House specifically to shut the memorial that had previously never been closed.
How do you close something that by design is intended to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year?
National Park Service personnel were also quoted in multiple press reports this week confirming that the White House orders were, "To make life as difficult for people as possible." Adding their own commentary in this thought, "It is disgusting."
On the first day of the shutdown, the White House ordered the open air memorial barricaded. When World War II veterans who were on previously scheduled trips to D.C. to see the memorial in their honor, saw the barricades, the staffers of the House Of Representatives members helped open up the barricades so as to allow these heroes to see the memorial the nation established in their honor.
The next day--obviously displeased that the veterans were allowed to have access--the White House raised the stakes and chained the barricades. The next day they wired them shut and sand bagged them. They even ordered additional work hours for the NPS to send more people to "guard" the World War II memorial.
Commentators drew the ironic and sad comparison that the President was far more concerned about "guarding" this open air area, than he had been in sending guards to rescue Ambassador Stevens the night of the attacks in Benghazi. And only in an upside down universe like an Obama administration would anyone ever believe that the World War II memorial needed "guarding" from World War II veterans to begin with.
Among the topics I've broached in recent years of broadcasts, none have riled the irritation level of the listeners to my 900+ affiliates anywhere equal to the Obama administration's specific targeting of World War II veterans as payback in the debate over the shutdown.
Nothing has come close.
The reasons for the blood-boiling outrage are simple. Here's a few that listeners have consistently written me about:
1. These are the last people in our society deserving of this type of treatment.
2. They paid for the memorial they wish to see with the blood of their own sacrifice, and that of their friends who never came home.
3. They average in age from 78-95 years old.