Grassley Presses Park Service to Open Memorials on National Mall PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 14:49

Grassley Presses Park Service to Open Memorials on National Mall

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is questioning why open air public memorials on the National Mall are being closed to the public due to the partial government shut-down.

“These veterans who fought to save Americans’ freedom and liberty are being denied maybe the only chance they have to see their memorial.  The barriers should not have been placed to prevent these veterans from seeing the monument to their sacrifice,” Grassley said.  “The federal government’s closure shouldn’t impact an open air monument that is available at all times of the day.  It just doesn’t meet the common sense test.”

In a letter to the Secretary of the Interior this morning, Grassley wrote that a flight of World War II veterans from Iowa were told by the National Park Service to continue with their flight to Washington, D.C.  The trip, arranged by the Story County Freedom Flight Committee, is set up to honor Story County veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.  Grassley had the opportunity to see the veterans at the World War II Memorial after the barricades had already been breached.

Here’s a copy of the text of Grassley’s letter to the Interior Secretary.


October 1, 2013

The Honorable Sally Jewell

Secretary of the Interior

1849 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20240


Dear Secretary Jewell,

I was astounded to learn today that the National World War II Memorial and other public memorials on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., were being barricaded off from the public today, ostensibly due to the government shutdown.

A flight of World War II veterans from Iowa is current en route to Washington, D.C., for what is likely for most their last chance to see THEIR memorial.  They called the National Park Service yesterday inquiring whether they should cancel their flight, but were given assurances that they should go forward.  Now, I understand that when they arrive, they will find that the National Park Police have pro-actively barricaded this public memorial to prevent their entrance.

I understand that buildings and parks may need to close do to the lack of appropriations, but public, open air, outdoor memorials that Congress intended to be open to all Americans should not be closed.  Please let me know immediately what you plan to do to allow these national heroes access to THEIR memorial.



Charles E. Grassley

United States Senator


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