Veterans tear down barricades at national memorials, stack them in front of White House
Mon, 14 Oct 2013 22:06:14 GMT —
Limited access has been granted to some of the war memorial sites in the capitol, largely due to the attention the subject has received from the national media.
Perhaps the most controversial issue, is that these attractions are "open air."
"They're all really walking memorials. They're not buildings, you walk through them. And, to shut them down is, I think, a travesty," said U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio).
With the shutdown entering its third week, politicians on Capitol Hill have yet to address that problem. Tempers began to boil over on Sunday.
Veterans held a protest during the weekend, where many of the barricades from those memorials were taken down, and stacked up at the edge of the White House lawn. Riot police were called to help keep peace. There was a lot of pushing and shoving, but no one got hurt.
Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio visited the sites last week.
READ: Tearful WWII veteran turned away from Ohio museum
Organization president Lee Armstrong said these problems, notably among veterans, will get worse.
"From what I'm being told, veteran pay is going to stop, including pensions, military retiree pay. Shortly there-after, social security will stop," said Armstrong.
He's worried that if Congress can't get their act together, events such as the protest will escalate.
"I just see a massive uprising. You saw with the truckers this weekend. Truckers stopped traffic in D.C. to make a point." Armstrong said.
Though the turnout of truckers was not as large as organizers had hoped for, the frustration in the public is obvious, and it's growing.
READ: Shutdown ruins vacations, hurts local economies
"Then you start veterans uprising all around the country. Not to mention families of veterans who will support the veterans too. I think the domino affect of this could be devastating to the country," said Armstrong.
Denying veterans access to the memorials helped inspire stir up protest. Many tore down the barricades. If veterans are cut off from the pensions and benefits, the tensions will only escalate.