Not just the one in Normandy, either. All 24 overseas cemeteries are being shuttered while the shutdown is on because … that’s just the way it is. Presumably it has to do with lack of funding for security. In that case, do the children and grandchildren of fallen American soldiers who’ve flown across the ocean to pay their respects really need to be policed to make sure they don’t vandalize anything? If you’re worried about the locals doing something like that, you could close the cemetery overnight and ask for volunteers to stand watch and call the cops if any opportunistic miscreants swing by during the day. I’m reasonably sure you could find volunteers for a job like that. But once again, the government wants to maximize hardship during the shutdown, not mitigate it.
So if you’re in Normandy right now and hoping to visit grandpa’s grave, I guess this is a lesson to you to be careful about supporting parties that support shutdowns.
Tourists travelling to Omaha Beach to pay their respects to the 9,387 military dead at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial will find it closed, a victim of the U.S. government’s partial shutdown.
The site overlooking the D-Day invasion beaches is one of 24 U.S. military cemeteries overseas that have closed to visitors since Monday. Ten more cemeteries in France, as well as others in various European countries as well as Mexico, Panama, Tunisia and the Philippines, will remain closed for the duration of the shutdown.
Legal Insurrection is calling on the GOP to offer a small funding bill aimed at re-opening the cemeteries. No doubt they will, given the play this story’s getting in the news today, and no doubt Reid will instruct has caucus to vote no on it just like he wants them to vote no on restoring NIH funds for kids with cancer. It’s more important to maintain the “no negotiation” posture and deny the GOP any opportunity to ease the consequences of the shutdown than to, say, let the kids of the men who died on Omaha Beach into the cemetery in Normandy. If they can’t impose a hardship on living vets to teach people that Shutdowns Are Bad, maybe they can get ’em in death.
Exit question: Anyone else think MLB and the NFL, if only for the publicity value to them, might be willing to offer free TV rights to their games to the Pentagon while the shutdown is on so that troops stationed overseas can watch? Has anyone at the Pentagon even asked them?
Update: Presented without comment.
As Politico reported Thursday, during the 1995 government shutdown congressional Republicans and President Bill Clinton were able to agree to a “stopgap bill to assure funding for veterans, welfare recipients and the District of Columbia.”
Why won’t Senate Democrats and President Obama agree now to any more stopgap funding bills?
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York told THE WEEKLY STANDARD following a noon press conference Thursday that in 1995 “it was a different world.” Why is that? “Because we have a Tea Party,” Schumer said without elaborating as he walked away.