We The People

‘Greatest Generation’ Veterans Sweep Past Barricades at Memorial in Their Honor

from FOX News – by Edmund DeMarche –

What was meant to be a final gathering of heroes Tuesday instead became a final victory for dozens of World War II combat veterans who refused to let the government’s budget battle block a visit to their memorial in the nation’s Capital.

With bagpipers playing “Amazing Grace,” nearly 200 veterans from Mississippi and Iowa swept past barricades and security guards at the World War II Memorial in Washington in order to keep a commitment to visit the site, which was closed today due to the partial government shutdown. The veterans, in their 80s and 90s, were accompanied by Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., a former Marine who earlier vowed not to let the National Park Police keep them from a planned visit to the open-air monument.

“Well, I would have been so down-and-out if I got all the way up here and wasn’t able to get in,” Navy veteran Oscar Leroy Russell, 90, who is blind after he suffered a stroke, told FoxNews.com.

Some veterans on hand wiped away tears when they saw a crowd waving the American flag as they came out of their bus.

“These men and women didn’t cower to the Japanese and Germans,” Palazzo said. “I don’t think they’re about to let a few National Park Police stand in their way.”

Palazzo, who was joined by several other members of Congress, moved the barricades at the memorial and police did not try to stop the veterans’ access.

“I’m not going to enforce the ‘no stopping or standing’ sign for a group of 90 World War II veterans,” a U.S. Park Police officer, who declined to give his name, told The Washington Post. “I’m a veteran myself.”

The veterans are traveling as part of Honor Flight, a program that enables World War II veterans to partake in an expense-paid trip to view the memorial. Tuesday’s trip is the second-to-last flight, with the last scheduled for November. But prior to their arrival early Tuesday, there was fear that the government shutdown and federal worker furloughs would mean no access to the monuments on the National Mall.

But with lawmakers leading the charge, the American military heroes, some in wheelchairs, surged into the memorial.

“It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission,” Palazzo said. “We lined the veterans up along the  blockade, we saw an opening and we took it.”

Joe Cleveland, of Union, Miss., told The Mississippi Press that he would “be thinking about the many battles that have been fought and thanking all those who were willing to go fight for our country.”

Palazzo noted his grandfather, Manuel McCarty, served in World War II at Guadalcanal and Okinawa. Palazzo was 7 years old when his grandfather died and said he sees his grandfather in these veterans.

“I only have a couple of memories of my grandfather,” said Palazzo, who has taken part of Honor Flights before. “But each time I see these men, I envision how he’d be.”

Congressman Bill Huizenga, of Michigan, told GulfLive.com that “this is the best civil disobedience we’ve seen in Washington in a while.”

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Bob Allison
7 years ago

As the flag carried by the last WWII veteran falls, it’ll be raised again by those of us who served in “The Forgotten War”…KOREA. Behind us, ready to pick up the flag we’ll eventually drop, are our comrades, the forgotten veterans of VIET NAM. Behind them are the veterans and those now serving in IRAC and AFGHANISTAN. Many veterans recognize that part of the price we pay to serve, is to be forgotten by some of those we served, protecting their freedoms and the spirit of 1776. But, we will not forget the oath we took to preserve, protect and defend the United States and its freedoms. No surrender!

Sonny of THE MEEK
7 years ago

WHAT THOSE POLITICIAN’S WHO HAVE “NEVER SERVED”- LIKE OBAMA FAILED TO COUNT ON , OR CONSIDER, VETS AS MYSELF AND THOSE NOW SERVING ARE UNAFRAID OF TRUTH. WE SEE/HEAR HIS LIES WHILE FRESH BODIES LIE ON LANDS ACROSS THE WORLD, THUS ENSURING HIS FREEDOM TO DO SO.

TO GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO HAMPER TRUE AMERICAN HERO’S (MEDAL OR NOT THEY ARE OR YOU WOULD BE READING THIS IN ANYTHING BUT ENGLISH) FROM A MEMORIAL AS PART OF SOME MACABRE GAME, AWAKENED ME, HOW ABOUT YOU? HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH?

EVEN THOSE WHO SERVED PAST WARS NOT ALLOWED IN MEMORIAL AS PART OF THE GAME. DOORS CLOSED TO THE VERY PEOPLE WHO OUTLIVED OUR ENEMY ABROAD, YET DAMAGED EITHER PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY, MADE IT HOME TO A NATION THAT ONCE HAD LEADERS AND FELLOW CITIZEN’S WHO CARED.

YOU MAY NOT HAVE FOUGHT A WAR- WATCHED A FRIEND EXPLODE APART FROM A ARSENAL (NOW BIG BUSINESS TO SOME- GUESS WHO?) GROWN MORE DEADLY EACH YEAR. HECK, IN TRUTH SOMETIMES WE DIE FROM OUR OWN. ACTUALLY WE PRAY, NOT THE RESULT OF ANOTHER WASHINGTON LIE. WHO WILL EVER KNOW? BUT YOU CAN PLAY THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLE OF ALL, VOTE IN SOME LEADERS REPRESENTING ME AND YOU, NOT EMPIRES LIKE SOROS ETC. THEY CONTROL THE NEWS, NOT YOUR MINDS! VOTE FOR THOSE WHO DIED TO GIVE ALL OF AMERICA’S PEOPLE THE RIGHT. VOTE AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. OH THAT’S RIGHT! IT REALLY DOES! YOU MAY NOT BE IN THE FRONT LINES DIEING, BUT YOU CAN BE A HERO TO YOUR COUNTRY WITH THE POWER OF YOUR VOTE.

Julie
7 years ago

If the greatest generation is now 80-90 years old, who will we let take over the reins. Will it be We The People, or king Obama?

Mary Hall
7 years ago

Congratulations and thank you to every one of you American Veterans….not only for your service but for your continued leadership…..I think you should be running for congress. You would get my vote. God bless and keep you strong…God bless the AMERICA you fought to protect!

Susan Stahl
7 years ago

Thank you Jean Darcy for stating so clearly the state of OUR Union. All I can do is quote it here. “It a damn shame when the GREATEST GENERATION to live have the guts to do what WE THE PEOPLE should be doing! WE THE PEOPLE, put the Representatives, and Senators in power as we did the President, and all we are doing is sitting back and letting the government tell us how to live, what to eat, what laws we follow, etc. The next thing you know they’ll be telling us where we can live and where to sh**!. The GREATEST GENERATION to ever live did not bow to those in Washington! They fought for our freedoms just as our military is doing today! They didn’t ask for hand outs and freebies from the government! They did what we should be doing and what half of Americans are doing now. They WORKED! Stop asking what our Country can do for us, ask what we can do and should be doing for our Country! We used to be a great nation. We used to be feared and awed! Now we are a joke! It is time to take back the pride we had and show the world we are a force to be reckoned with again! Tell your congressmen and senators enough is enough! We are done with the shenanigans and the bad behavior in Washington. Stop spending our money foolishly! Yes, OUR MONEY! The money we work hard for! Stop treating our veterans like they are nothing! Stand up for the greatest nation and the GREATEST GENERATION!

Roberto A. Diaz
7 years ago

My thanks to these great veterans who would not be stopped by this shutdown. Give them hell boys.
From one combat wounded Vietnam Combat Veteran.

Don Harper
7 years ago

Congress and the President should be ashamed. I’m a Viet-Nam Era Veteran myself and I’m ashamed of my country right now- with not enough money set aside to at least keep this memorial open, but still paying Congress their daily salaries. Shame on you, Mr Obama, and all of you who voted to allow this to happen.

Louann
7 years ago
Reply to  Don Harper

No surprise Obama has been thumbing his nose at the Constitution since he took office. We as Americans need to swift kick his sorry ass in the gutter And throw him and his families crap on the curb, and say this is OUR house you are being evicted.

Karen Lewis
7 years ago

Yea! God Bless our Veterans! ((( Let Freedom Ring! )))

Walter P.
7 years ago

There should have been more Congressional support to allow entry of these WW2 heroes to their monuments.
Good to hear more talk that more citizens plan to take back their parks and monuments. Obama failed as President and is not doing any better as a DICTATOR.

Carol B.
7 years ago
Reply to  Walter P.

Amen to that!

Mary
7 years ago

Members of Congress should hang their head in shame for not working to represent the people who elected them. They should be out there escorting those veterans and get real history lesson. GOD BLESS OUR VETERANS!

Robert Kidwell
7 years ago

Meaning no disrespect to the veterans or Rep. Palazzo but there would not have been any attempt to prevent these veterans from crossing the barricades. I find it odd that the “charge” to cross the barricades was led by the same lawmakers who brought about this shutdown and to portray as bad guys the Park Rangers whom these posturing gasbag politicians have put out of work or caused to work for no pay. See the article on the Representative from Texas who used this incident to pump himself up. No true American would prevent these veterans from entering their memorial. But our Senators and Representatives will act or not act to close it.

DLS
7 years ago
Reply to  Robert Kidwell

Maybe the root problem is sitting on his self made throne in the White House, paid for by the people. Crying for bipartisanship with where the lefts definition is our way or your being partisan and not being fair.

phebe minton
7 years ago

The america I love is still alive

phebe minton
7 years ago

America I know and love is still alive god bless

Jean Darcy
7 years ago

It a damn shame when the GREATEST GENERATION to live have the guts to do what WE THE PEOPLE should be doing! WE THE PEOPLE, put the Representatives, and Senators in power as we did the President, and all we are doing is sitting back and letting the government tell us how to live, what to eat, what laws we follow, etc. The next thing you know they’ll be telling us where we can live and where to sh**!. The GREATEST GENERATION to ever live did not bow to those in Washington! They fought for our freedoms just as our military is doing today! They didn’t ask for hand outs and freebies from the government! They did what we should be doing and what half of Americans are doing now. They WORKED! Stop asking what our Country can do for us, ask what we can do and should be doing for our Country! We used to be a great nation. We used to be feared and awed! Now we are a joke! It is time to take back the pride we had and show the world we are a force to be reckoned with again! Tell your congressmen and senators enough is enough! We are done with the shenanigans and the bad behavior in Washington. Stop spending our money foolishly! Yes, OUR MONEY! The money we work hard for! Stop treating our veterans like they are nothing! Stand up for the greatest nation and the GREATEST GENERATION!

joyce
7 years ago

once again, the Greatest Generation shows us what to do and how to do it. my dad served in WWII and my husband and 2 brother in laws served in Viet Nam. Thank you for your service and to the Greatest Generation, i stand in respect and honor you and all you have done and continue to do. NO one should stop the anyone from visiting our parks or monuments…..we didn’t always have park police and we managed just fine.

Brenda Collins
7 years ago

…the best we’ve ever seen as far as I’m concerned. This act just proves that these honorable men are still willing to fight for this nation and what our flag stands for. To all you precious veterans, I applaud and salute you for your continuing service to our country, the United States of America.

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