Photo credit: Twitter/@JakeHarris4
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Thousands of protesters with the "Million Vet March" arrived at the World War II Memorial Sunday morning to protest the closure of the memorials during the federal government shutdown.
The protesters removed the barriers and entered the memorial, which has been closed since the shutdown began Oct. 1.
Bruce Wing and his wife traveled from Atlanta to support the veterans.
"The shutting down of these memorials, if one looks at right and wrong, that's clearly wrong," he says.
Senators Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as well as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, were among the crowd, WTOP reports.
"Two weeks ago the president of the United States signed a written veto threat. He said 'if you open the memorial, I will veto it,'" Sen. Cruz told the crowd.
The protesters then converged in front of the White House. Most of the marchers blame President Obama for the closures.
"Whether it's peacetime or war, our people do so much. The military's done so much," says George Rathmell, who spent 20 years as an Army chaplain. "The scars, many of them never heal. Even if they're not on the outside, they're on the inside.
About 15 tractor trailers from the Ride for the Constitution protest, which has taken place all weekend, also arrived at the memorial protest to lend support to the veterans.
The trucks drove down 17th Street honking their horns while heading toward the Mall. They were later blocked by police barricades.
President Obama said Thursday that national parks could reopen as long as each state paid the operation costs. Colorado, Utah and Arizona all took advantage. The future of the District's parks, however, is unclear.