Not just barricades, either. My friends, it’s come to this:

I’m rushing this post out because, per Ed’s stellar round-up from earlier this morning, the Honor Flight vets are headed to the Memorial regardless. Members of Congress, among them Michele Bachmann, are already there, as are reporters of all stripes. If you use Twitter, I recommend following the Standard’s John McCormack, National Review’s Betsy Woodruff, and the Examiner’s Charlie Spiering, who took the photo I used for our front-page thumbnail of the feds actually deploying forklifts to set up gates around a memorial that’s open 24 hours a day with little supervision under normal circumstances. As I write this at a few minutes after 10:30 ET, Spiering is tweeting that the vets are scheduled to arrive within the next 15 minutes. Is your government really about to arrest 96-year-olds who fought at Guadalcanal because this bit of sub-moronic shutdown theater is too precious to them to forfeit? Stay tuned. It wouldn’t be the first own-goal they’ve scored because their pettiness overwhelmed their sense of optics.

By the way, the WWII Memorial isn’t the only one with a gate in front of it this morning. When McCormack strolled over to the World War I Memorial, he found this. No joke:

The sign reads, “Because of the federal government shutdown, this National Park Service area is closed, except for First Amendment activities.” So if you want to protest there, you’re good. If you want to quietly remember the dead, get off the damned lawn.

An exit question via Legal Insurrection while we wait for updates: How come the Lincoln Memorial isn’t open now if it was open “>during the 1995 shutdown?

Update: A Park Service spokesman says they were told to close the memorial by the Office of Management and Budget. Paging Darrell Issa: Time to find out who made the decision at OMB. And why.

Update: If you’re near a TV, you might want to turn on CNN. Tapper is there at the Memorial; if there’s some sort of confrontation, I assume they’ll cut to him live.

Update: The vets have arrived.

Dan Foster says, “This is President Obama’s Bonus Army.”

Update: Forced to choose between locking up elderly World War II heroes and letting them past the barricades, the Park Service bows to political reality:

Today’s Honor Flight vets are from Missouri. Interestingly, not only was Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt with them, so was Democrat Claire McCaskill. She’s voted with Reid throughout, but she wasn’t going to let herself get blown up by this massive shutdown-theater backfire.

Update: Louie Gohmert: “What are they going to do next — hang a drapery over Mt. Rushmore?”

Update: Are other barricaded memorials next? According to what some vets told BuzzFeed yesterday, maybe.

Update: Visiting the Memorial is a “First Amendment activity”? Doesn’t that mean all parks and memorials are now basically required to open for visits?