Confrontation with feds as outrage over shutdown builds
The federal government has barred World War II Marine veterans from visiting the Iwo Jima Monument near the Arlington National Cemetery this Saturday, prompting North Country Honor Flight executive director Daniel Kaifetz to ask protesters planning to attend a ‘Million Vets’ march in DC on the same weekend to help remove the barricades.
Honor Flight, which pays for veterans to visit war memorials, is the organization that made headlines last week after helping vets break through barricades to visit the World War II Memorial in DC. The barricades were subsequently reinforced and wired shut.
On Saturday, Honor Flight veterans plan to break through barricades that have been placed around the Iwo Jima Monument, setting up a potential confrontation with National Park Service employees.
In a message to organizers behind the ‘Million Vet March on the Memorials’, a separate demonstration set to take place on Sunday morning at the World War II Memorial in DC, North Country Honor Flight executive director Daniel Kaifetz asks for assistance from the protesters in allowing vets to gain access to the Iwo Jima Monument.
“Five Honor Flights will be at the Memorial on Saturday Oct. 12, including my chapter the North Country Honor Flight. We would appreciate it if in someway you could channel some of your followers to realize the WW-II Memorial is now open for Honor Flight’s WW-II veterans under a “First Amendment” permit we have been granted,” writes Kaifetz.
“However we are still being DENIED access to the Iwo Jima Monument [Marine Corps Memorial] which is a standard stop for all Honor Flights. Do you see any way to get the word out on this and have a significant number of vets there on SATURDAY to assist us in getting access for dozens of WW-II Marine heroes who otherwise will never get the opportunity to see their monument?”
Should the feds attempt to restrict World War II veterans from accessing the Iwo Jima Monument, which is located just outside the walls of Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, it would be a public relations disaster for the Obama administration, which has been accused of being spiteful in using the government shut down to punish Americans as part of a political ploy to shift the blame for the impasse onto Republicans.
Honor Flight veterans were forced to commit an act of civil disobedience last week when they stormed through barricades around the closed World War II memorial in Washington. Despite the fact that the White House knew the veterans were scheduled to visit, they refused to provide an exemption allowing them access.
Meanwhile, the Million Vet March also plans to draw attention to outrage over war memorial sites being barricaded by the feds.