“A despicable act of cowardice” is how organizers of the Million Vet March describe the closure of memorials such as the World War II Memorial, according to NBC News. The march took place in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Oct. 13, to protest the Obama administration’s decision to close the city’s public, open-air memorials during the partial government shutdown.
“We do not care what political leanings you may be; be it liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent or whatever,” says the Vet March website.
Senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) both spoke during the protest, and were also joined by former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin. The march began at the WWII Memorial, where the barricades were removed and carried to the White House. “Tractor-trailers headed down 17th Street toward the Mall, blaring their horns,” says WTOP. The Metropolitan Police Department blocked the street, which prompted the protestors to move up the street and shout at the police to request they move their vehicles.
The protestors began the march back to the memorial by 11 a.m. When the protestors arrived back at the memorial, “dozens congregated around World War II veterans, shaking their hands and thanking them for their service” (WTOP).
Pictures from a report by Becket Adams, of The Blaze, show the barricades were stacked neatly outside the Whitehouse and marked “Return to Sender”. This is contrary to an NBC report, which states the barricades were “dumped outside the White House.” However, the NBC report features no pictures showing how the barricades were placed outside the White House. The barricades were promptly reinstalled by the administration on Monday.
Photos of the March and conversation surrounding the controversy can be found on Twitter via the hashtag #millionvetmarch.