Sixty Nine years before they had stormed Omaha Beach and Utah Beach amidst a hail of German machine gun fire. Their progress was measured in inches as thousands of their buddies were gunned down before them, heads and arms and legs being blasted off bodies. Still they moved on, reached the climbing ropes and scaled those sea walls to get at those German machine gun emplacements racking up so much carnage.
So yesterday when two companies of WWII vets, one from Iowa and one from Mississippi, came upon a yellow taped barrier to the WWII Memorial they were unlikely to be turned away by yellow plastic or threats of arrest from the White House. These 90 year olds were contingents of a project called "Honor Flights". Sponsored by Starts and Stripes, the program enlists the help of American citizens to sponsor and accompany a WWII vet's trip to D.C. to visit their monument. However, even though the monument is in an open air area and requires no federal manpower to keep it open, Obama had ordered all open air monuments closed to the public, all part of his "revenge" campaign to cause as much public suffering as possible in a snit over the budget disputes with Congress.
As the Vets arrived, and encountered the barricades, they called both the White House and Congress. The White House ordered the Vets to disperse and warned them that if they tried to cross the barricade they would be arrested. Fortunately, a number of Republican Congressmen, including Congressman Steve King, from Iowa, responded to the memorial and distracted the Park Ranger on site long enough for the Vets to break through the barricade.
The old vets used their canes and their wheelchairs to bust through, then marched on to the memorial site. Soon the media arrived and began interviewing some of the vets. Most did not want to talk but instead wanted to pay tribute to all of their buddies who didn't make it back from that fearsome war; a war that took the lives of 400,000 Americans. One who did consent to an interview simply said "we WWII vets are dying off at one per every 90 seconds. We came all this way to see our memorial because we don't have a hell of a lot of time left to us...and we certainly weren't going to come all this way, only to be stopped outside, barred from the only chance we'd ever get a chance to pay our respects".
There are several more Honor Flights scheduled to arrive in Washington in the coming weeks. However the White House has advised them that they will be turned away if they try to repeat yesterday's order of action.
But yesterday it was WWII Vets 1, Chicago Organizer 0.
This morning Washingtonians were no doubt touched by a group of young people standing guard at the WWII Memorial. These young folks were carrying the torch for the old Vets...as they carried signs that said "Mr. Obama...tear down this wall!".