Vets storm DC’s WWII memorial, tear down fences, refuse to let Park Service/GOP shut it down

A situation has risen at the World War II memorial in Washington, DC. A group of WWII veterans are refusing to let the Park Service close the memorial down. The Park Service is simply following orders, after Republicans in Congress shut down the federal government in order to protest their dislike of the President’s health care reform law that goes into effect in a major way today.

The vets are having none of it, and shut down the shutdown.

Interestingly, Iowa Republican Cong. Steve King, one of the ringleaders of the shutdown, was at the memorial pretending he was on the side of the vets trying to keep the memorial open.  Open from what?  The Steve King Shutdown.


As these folks noted, King doesn’t exactly get credit for storming the gates of his own shutdown:


Steve King recently said that a shutdown was preferable to permitting health care reform, the law of the land, be implemented today:

Animals via Shutterstock, original image altered.

A GOP congressman accused Republicans of acting like lemmings with suicide vests. (Animals via Shutterstock, original image altered.)

“If there is a price to be paid for this, we will recover from a government shutdown, whether it’s a day, a week or two weeks … something will get resolved, we’ll recover from that as a country,” said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). “It’s a temporary inconvenience for a lot of people. But if Obamacare is ever implemented, we will never recover from that as a nation. We can never be a free people again.”

UPDATE: The Republican organization in charge of electing Republicans to the US House now has a petition supporting the WWII vets, who are opposing the House Republicans’ own government shutdown.  The level of deceit from Republicans is only that much more of an indication of how extreme the party has become over the years.  This, from a Yahoo News reporter:

by default 2013-10-01 at 1.16.04 PM


More on the WWII memorial protest:





Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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83 Responses to “Vets storm DC’s WWII memorial, tear down fences, refuse to let Park Service/GOP shut it down”

  1. stage66 says:

    If you all knew the real story you would know the house and the gop sent 8 bill to the senate to fund all memorials and national parks .but the Democrats and Harry Reid refuse to vote on them

  2. Cramwell Stephan says:

    Do you actually know it costs more to close? Legit question – would like to know.

  3. Cramwell Stephan says:


  4. David Herrick says: This is the truth.




  6. Drew2u says:

    Fairness under the law requires equal sacrifice, but Republicans don’t believe in either sacrifice or fairness, as the sequester subtractions (remember the big blowup over the TSA cuts?) and gerrymandered district maps have proven.

  7. Max48 says:

    You are a disgusting idiot. These guys are in their 80’s and 90’s. Their trips were organized before the shut down. You libs are supposedly so kind and concerned for others. You are truly more heartless than any conservative I’ve ever met.

  8. cole3244 says:

    thanks for making my point for me dumbass, or chicken hawk, which is it.

  9. Jordan says:

    Yes there you go typical left dumbass. Insult the people who allowed you to say that.

  10. Jordan says:

    Are you serious the GOP caused shutdown? Now I’m not a fan of the GOP but seriously could you be any more screwed up in the head? If I recall from recent past the GOP gave the option to fund the government but delay Obamacare. Obama didn’t want that so he said no. Why did he say no? Because he sees Obamacare as his legacy and without it. He is a failure so he would rather shutdown the government than delay Obamacare. A law that will RAISE healthcare cost. My parents Healthcare cost will raise by 20% mine will be raised by roughly 22% this isn’t your average year to year raises they do. This is because of Obamacare. Now there are many parts of Obamacare that are good but Obamacare as a whole is terrible for the American people and terrible for America. It will cause the economy to decline. Once employers realize the true cost of giving healthcare to employees they will no longer hire full-time employees.

  11. BloggerDave says:

    Without a doubt it’s staged and most probably by conservatives acting together with Groundswell… The wording of the headlines on this story are almost identical on all the conservative websites…

  12. BeccaM says:

    I know. I’ve been working on a new post about all this.

    I get how “goldurn, we hate the IRS” is some fine rabble-rousing populist clap-trap for the herpy-derps who think their Social Security and farm subsidies grow on magic trees. But comments like Stuzman’s are the height of irresponsibility and immaturity.

  13. Naja pallida says:

    I know Cantor wants the job, but I have trouble believing the wing nuts would make him Speaker, unless they just wanted to appoint another incompetent figurehead. He’s no different than John Boehner, and has been his right-hand job for years. They can’t seriously think he’d be any better.

  14. Monoceros Forth says:

    Oh, dear, I think you might be right. It best explains this:,0,1473349.story

    A choice quote:

    “We’re going to start picking off those priorities that are important,” said Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), as lawmakers prepared to vote to reopen the national parks and services for veterans. “The IRS was last on the list. The EPA was right above it.”

    Yep, the IRS and the EPA are of the least importance. I love our national parks but, seriously, saying that they’re the most important priority? Gah, it pisses me off the more I think about it. Nobody likes paying taxes but even the most batshit pseudo-libertarian Republican admits there has to be some taxation of some sort, even if it’s just on poor people. As long as there’s any form of taxation there needs to be someone who administers it and that would be the IRS. But, durr, we don’t need to fund the IRS? I mean, what the fucking fuck? Are these people like ten years old?

  15. Houndentenor says:

    That’s what civil disobedience is. They break the law in protest, get arrested. People do it all the time.

  16. Houndentenor says:

    Oh, whoever they pick to replace him will be worse. Eric Cantor wants the job for one. That for sure would be worse.

  17. Houndentenor says:

    He’s losing the speakership anyway. He’s toast. So we’ll see if he’ll do the right thing for the country or if he is stupid enough to make one more pathetic attempt to get people who hate him anyway to like him. I suspect the latter.

  18. emjayay says:

    Calm down everyone. There is a logical explanation to all this. It isn’t some Tea Bagger conspiracy.

    I just don’t quite understand why the NPS closed it down (half heartedly, it seems) in the first place. The Capitol Police were still on duty to catch anyone falling into the pool or spraying grafitti or anything. Most monuments can’t even be closed down, except by using way more personnel than it would take to not close them. Why couldn’t it just sit there as usual in its total mediocrity as it does every day?

  19. ComradeRutherford says:

    The park was empty by 6 PM because the Matlock Marathon started on Ch.7…

  20. ComradeRutherford says:

    Evidence? That’s for pinko commies muslim extremists. The GOP learned when Bush II was Acting President that ‘reality’ is whatever the GOP leadership says it is. No one’Mainstream Media’ will ever point out the GOP is lying, they aren’t allowed to. Wasn’t it Dick Gregory just a couple weeks ago that said the Media’s role is to reinforce whatever lie the GOP wants to tell?

  21. ComradeRutherford says:

    If the conservatives were in charge they would simply have ordered out the Army to machine gun these moochers who want national parks for free. Like they did to the starving WWi vets in the 1920s.

  22. pappyvet says:

    I think the repubes got there with the comments first. Not all of us who served our country are so easily fooled.

  23. Bill_Perdue says:

    The central effect of the shutdown, along with the austerity measures and union busting of the Obama regime, will be to deepen and extend the long depression of 2007.

    Workers will suffer the most. Democrat and Republican politicians have no problem with that.

  24. cole3244 says:

    looks like a teabagger convention to me, old white and stupid with king phoney in the lead.

  25. BillFromDover says:

    And the memorial police were defeated by a contingent of 80-year-olds in wheelchairs?

    Somehow, I get the feeling that their hearts might not have been in this battle?

    Good for them!

  26. karmanot says:

    Vets deserve special because they are Vets.

  27. karmanot says:


  28. Zorba says:

    No to mention all the Tea Party-type older people who were protesting the Affordable Care Act way back then, carrying signs that said, “Government out of my Medicare!” And “Leave my Medicare alone!”
    Idiots. They did not see the extreme irony of this.

  29. Thom Allen says:

    No, much to the relief of Missus Boner.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is what we’ve paid them for, folks. If they’re going to cut food stamps, we should vote to cut their salaries. They get lobster for free, and won’t even buy their own water bottles. They sit in air-conditioned rooms a few days out of the year between government-funded vacations.
    And no, “we should have had a Republican president” isn’t the correct answer. No excuse for obstructionism.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Can you really maintain a “Boehner” when drunk?

  32. Anonymous says:

    The only “evidence” they need is the ignorance in their minds.

  33. Naja pallida says:

    Mainly the latter.

  34. Naja pallida says:

    And in what essentially amounts to two “lost Congresses”, because of their incompetence and obstruction Congress hasn’t really managed to accomplish anything significant since the 2010 elections. Kicking the can down the road, and punishing the American people, is all they know how to do.

  35. 2patricius2 says:

    They knocked over the barriers and it was a storming of the gates? Doesn’t look like much of a storming to me.

  36. Thom Allen says:

    For the Republicon party, zero credibility seems to have been the goal. Their base doesn’t care about credibility, just having their fantasies fed – no climate change, gays cause tornadoes, Obamacare will institute death panels. When has evidence been necessary fir them?

  37. Thom Allen says:

    Boner, drunk on power and alcohol.

  38. bbock says:

    Michelle Bachmann smelled cameras and made a beeline for the monument. That tells you all you need to know about the authenticity.

  39. bbock says:

    Of course they aren’t ACA friendly. They have VA and Medicare. They don’t need no stinking Govermint Healthcare.

  40. mirror says:

    Huffington Post can try to pass, however ignorantly, of meerkats as lemmings too, but it doesn’t make it true. And it is shitty political activism too, because there is a generation of young people who are very clear what a meerkat is and isn’t.

  41. Anonymous says:

    They’ve already cost us in vacation and fillibuster time.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Maybe now Repubs will realize the hard way that their entire worldview is flawed and ignorant.

  43. The_Fixer says:

    Oh, no doubt it’s staged, has to be. Nobody who is 80+ years old ever does anything spontaneously. Especially if you’re in a wheelchair. You need to plan everything – you just don’t roll down to the monument on a whim.

    And with our country’s embrace of militarism, they figured this would be the ideal stunt to attract attention. Notice that they didn’t arrange for a bunch of campers to storm Yosemite National Park, did they?

  44. Jimmy says:

    Sure, let’s promote a disregard for authority and create anarchy. I understand the point here, but there are better ways to stand up for something. How very Republican.

  45. heimaey says:

    Yikes, I stand corrected.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Lol. The Republicans are self-destructing in 3… 2… 1…

  47. The_Fixer says:

    Before or after the august members of the House had their booze?

  48. Dave of the Jungle says:

    The Republican Party has attained Zero Credibility and should disband.

  49. Naja pallida says:

    With the lack of understanding most people seem to have about what unions are for, what they do, and what they have done in the past, most people probably don’t even understand the difference between a strike and a lockout anymore. It is always ‘blame the union’, no matter what is happening.

  50. keirmeister says:

    No, You’re not the only one…and that’s my fear. If you start hearing talking points about Republicans “standing with our veterans” during the “Obama/Democrat Shutdown,” then you’ll know the fix is in.

  51. Thom Allen says:

    It will be interesting to see if they stay any length of time now that they’re “in control” of the monument. Many of these guys look to be frail elderly, some in wheelchairs. Hard to imagine them camping out there. Wonder if they’ll get treated like the Occupy Wall Street protesters – pepper sprayed/tear gassed. beaten and dragged off? Most of these vets are apparently from Mississippi. I’d guess that many are not Democrat/ACA/Obama-friendly.

  52. AnitaMann says:

    Oh THAT clown again. Can Louie Gomert be far behind?

  53. BeccaM says:

    I hate to say it, but this whole thing smells staged.

    A ‘protest’ like this, of this size, and with GOP Congressweasels conveniently showing up to run interference with the cops doesn’t just materialize out of thin air.

    Someone, some group, planned and organized this, and given the already emerging narrative of blaming the Dems for being mean to those WWII vets, I think we can begin to guess who.

  54. Monoceros Forth says:

    You’re probably right :( I’m reminded of how several years ago here in Seattle, when workers in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union were locked out by management who were wanting to replace their jobs with non-union temps–sorry, “contractors”–the papers repeatedly called this action a “strike”, as though it were the longshoremen who were refusing to work and not the management forbidding them from working.

  55. nicho says:

    I’d be more impressed if they were protesting the shut down of essential services where the shutdown will hurt people — instead of some bunch of stones. This is just stupid teabagger political theater.

  56. nicho says:

    I’m sure. I live in an area with a lot of older folks. They were the first ones going around with tea bags dangling from their hats.

  57. chris10858 says:

    This is nothing but a political move by right-wingers. Dems in DC need to go down to the memorial and voice their “indignation” that vets would be shut out due to govt. shutdown. They then need to plead (on camera) for Republicans to meet them halfway and restore government. Come on.. let’s do it for the children… err,, for the vets!

  58. pricknick says:

    I have pictures of many WWII vets attending tea parties in 2008.

  59. AnitaMann says:

    Exactly. And CNN and the other lazy media will continue to say it was because “Democrats and Republicans failed to reach a compromise,” indicating that D’s are equally to blame. These kinds of theatrics work for the brain dead public (see: Brooks Brothers riot, Florida, 2000).

  60. heimaey says:

    I don’t know. WWII vets? I suppose I wouldn’t be surprised either but they are OLD. I’m not sure the tea bag insanity extends into the 80+ demographics but you’re right. Never underestimate.

  61. Indigo says:

    They should have done that to the House of Representatives last night.

  62. Naja pallida says:

    But… but… the Hastert Rule!

    Really, it would probably cost him the Speakership, and he’s too cowardly to risk that. And while no more Speaker Boehner would be a good thing for the Congress and the country, any replacement is likely to be more even more psychotic and less interested in self-preservation.

  63. TampaZeke says:

    I will guarantee you that many, if not most, of those veterans are tea baggers who blame the shut down on President Obama because that’s what Fox News told them. You can already see that the Republicans are embracing it and claiming to support them against the “Democrat” shut down. Never underestimate the level of ignorance of Republicans/Tea Baggers/Fox News devotees.

  64. Naja pallida says:

    I highly doubt they will, because the Republicans wouldn’t accept it. They want to drive off another cliff as soon as possible.

  65. Thom Allen says:

    If Steve King was aiding the veterans to break the law, let’s have the Park Police jail HIS ass. Scum sucking slime.

  66. PeteWa says:

    Steve King… from Iowa.

  67. PeteWa says:

    has Leo Shane figured out King’s involvement yet?
    credit… sheesh.
    some people are so happy to be hoodwinked.

  68. Monoceros Forth says:

    I concede the logic of your argument. And I guess that it’s a necessary aspect of civil disobedience anyway that you should expect to be arrested doing it. I want to be charitable though and assume that it’s not just veterans wanting special treatment cos they’re veterans.

  69. Drew2u says:

    Will they, though? Is anyone talking about that?

  70. Naja pallida says:

    At this point, I don’t think the Democrats should accept any deal that doesn’t also include a debt ceiling increase. Just to prevent this from happening all over again in a week or two. There’s no reason why they should let the Republicans hold everything hostage multiple times in the same month.

  71. Drew2u says:

    I think we may begin to circle the same point, so let me clarify and see if we both agree:
    The inconvenience of the shutdown should be applying unilaterally. Vets who come on a tourist visit should be just as inconvenienced as your dad’s old employer. If he busted into the building (or as I stated, a buddy of mine who was going to go hiking in a national park), they would be arrested – and rightfully so.
    I have nothing against them protesting, as long as they recognize the illegality of their actions and are prepared for the Just consequences. Otherwise it circles to, “Well you, office worker, should be inconvenienced while I should be granted an exception.”
    Otherwise I would LOVE to bust into the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and have the place to – relatively – myself! :D

  72. Monoceros Forth says:

    Er, isn’t that sort of the point? Your comment reminds me of people who say they don’t have anything against worker strikes in theory but don’t like how strikes cause people to be inconvenienced. They’re supposed to be inconvenient.

  73. Drew2u says:

    In the meantime, people who practice civil disobedience like this are still breaking laws.

  74. Houndentenor says:

    Ending the shutdown is easy. If Boehner would allow the Senate bill up for a vote it would pass. Problem solved.

  75. Drew2u says:

    Just wait a couple weeks for the debt ceiling… -_-

  76. pappyvet says:

    Absolutely goddamn right

  77. keirmeister says:

    Frankly, I’m happy to see this kind of civil disobedience, but Democrats better be careful: Republicans are masters of using optics, and they’re not above using the anger and outrage of veterans to attack Democrats.

    “We Republicans stand with our military veterans in their outrage at the Democrats’ shutdown of our sacred memorial.”

    If Republicans pull enough of this crap (without Democrats fighting back), they will turn the tide of the blame game.

  78. fletcher says:

    Good for the vets. Are anyone of them shouting at the Tea Party Congressman who voted to shut the shrine down in Wizard of Id fashion: “The King Is a Fink!”?

  79. Naja pallida says:

    They’re hurting everyone, because the shut down is going to cost us hundreds of millions of dollars a day. Even if you don’t take a dime in federal money or use any federal services, you’re still going to pay for the shut down out of your pocket. There really isn’t anything more fiscally irresponsible they could have chose to do.

  80. Drew2u says:

    As much as I am grateful for their service, this does not seem right. “Shutdown for thee, but not for me”?
    The whole point of things shutting down is that they are closed and anyone forcing their way through are trespassers acting illegally, no matter if it’s veterans at a monument or campers at a national park.
    I would imagine if people started forcing themselves into the offices of their elected officials they’d be arrested on the spot.
    Sorry guys, you’re breaking the law. Your representatives, and those next to you on the lawn, gave you this mess.

  81. Monoceros Forth says:

    Wow. This is not a headline I expected to read today. It’s just a little reminder of how widespread and damaging the consequences of this shutdown are going to be. I daresay that a lot of right-wingers imagine that the only kind of person they’re hurting with their preposterous stunt is their stereotype of a federal employee, lazing about on the public dime and stirring from their slumber only to fumble for their government checks. Not so. The consequences of their gamesmanship are hurting a lot more people than some strawman bureaucrats.

    By the way, I learned of another little consequence of this shutdown: my dad’s old employer (he’s retired now), though it is not a government organization, is leasing space from a NOAA-owned building, and now they’re locked out of it.

  82. sonoitabear says:

    Leave it Peter King to personify the HYPOCRISY of the RepubLIEclowns…

  83. voltronforce says:

    lolz. Of course the Vets already have healthcare under Medicare.

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