Star Member DonViejo (4,965 posts)
Republicans Make a Circus Out of WWII's Vets' Trip to War Memorial
Leave No Man Behind!
House Republicans climb the World War II Memorial’s barricades for a photo op.
By David Weigel
Eugene Morgan is a veteran of World War II, a Marine, age 96—and for 20-odd minutes, he’s the most photographed man in downtown Washington. Morgan’s misfortune was to arrive in the city on the second day of the 2013 government shutdown. His trip, organized by his 50-year-old son Jeff, couldn’t really be rescheduled. So father and son showed up around 10 a.m. to visit the World War II Memorial.
They ran smack into a delegation from Congress. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Rep. John Carter were at the monument site, talking to Honor Flight’s Jeff Miller about a minor act of civil disobedience. Since 2007, Honor Flight has organized free Washington trips for veterans who want to see the memorial before passing into the great unknown.
Thanks to the shutdown, that memorial is blocked by 4-foot-high portable railings, just like the rest of the open-air tourist magnets on the National Mall. The railings are incredibly easy to move, but the Park Service—the part of it not currently being furloughed—is technically supposed to arrest any scofflaws.
“Honestly, I think this is going to be over soon,” Bachmann says to Miller, referring to the shutdown. “It’s not going to be a problem.”
Until it is, Republican members of Congress are arriving at the memorial, just ahead of the Honor Flight buses. They open the railings and cheer the veterans, in full view of a media that can’t resist a good human-interest yarn. When a staffer points out Morgan to Bachmann and Carter, the members of Congress walk over to him, trailed by photographers.