Among the many reasons this was so clumsy, one stands out starkly: It isn’t as though the WWII guys can always come back another day. All are in their late 80s and early 90s, and time is of the essence. Moreover, most plan these trips well in advance and at considerable expense.

Thanks to the monument liberators, Washington officials were forced to rethink their decision and removed the barriers. The American People are now free to roam their public spaces that remember sacrifices beyond most imaginations.

Optically, symbolically and every other way, this seems too little too late. Shutting out veterans from their memorial touchstone was more than a bad call, a lapse of judgment, a mere moment of tone-deafness. In reality, it may have been the tidy effort of a box-checking bureaucrat, but it reeked of the small work of a petty bully.