Ohio reporter told to leave Lincoln Memorial but says, ''No.''
Fri, 11 Oct 2013 21:44:18 GMT —
During the government shutdown, war memorials in Washington D.C. have been accessible to Honor Flight tour groups, but portable gates had blocked off some areas that veterans have waited years to see.
"I didn't know if I'd make it or not. And the way these politicians are, I didn't know if we'd ever make it," said Word War II veteran Hubble Finch.
Thankfully, the veterans visiting from Northwest Ohio didn't seem to mind the barriers. They all just seemed happy to be there.
When WNWO spoke to the veterans, many acted humbled about their service for the country.
"What I did was nothing compared to what a lot of these guys did," said Richard Norton about his experiences in the war.
Like many vets, Norton makes light of his own record, and recounts the hardships that others had to go through.
Veterans aren't holding back their emotions about the government shutdown. They said the government was run during the war.
"They knew what the world was all about," Norton said. "Today they've lost it. I probably shouldn't say this, but it scares the hell out of me."
WNWO's Chris Delcamp decided to check out the Lincoln Memorial the night before the Honor Flight's tour was scheduled and find out if the shutdown had prevented him from following the veterans the the next day.
Other than a few people scattered around the memorial sight seeing, there was no one. I had uninterrupted access to the entire site, and I heard only crickets chirping.
However, there were gates and plastic fencing set up all around the Lincoln Memorial. I had never been to the capitol before, so I decided to see it before I left. I slid through a corner of a barrier to get to the steps. It was raining as I made my way into the alcove, but was met by two armed park police who told me the monument closed, and I would have to leave.
I didn't leave. I told the guards that it was my right to be there, and was going to exercise my first amendment rights, and stay awhile. One of the guards got on his radio, but never said another word to me. They went to the edge of the stairs and watched as five or six other people followed my lead, ascended the steps, and walked right by the guards, who didn't try to stop them, but politely said hello.
Unfortunately I did not have my video camera with me due to the excessive rain, but I did manage to capture a few nice still photos of the monument.