To the Editor:
I have a few questions for my elected representatives in Washington, D.C.
Why are national monuments barricaded?
The national monuments in Washington, D.C., were paid for by private donations. These monuments are on public land. These monuments belong to the citizens of the United States, they are maintained by employees of the citizens of the United States through our elected government.
Why are my employees trying to keep me out of my property?
If the National Park Service is shut down, why are uniformed National Park Service employees patrolling the WWII Memorial and Viet Nam Veterans Memorial?
If there’s no money to fund the government, where did the money come from to rent/buy fencing, and pay the people to install it and patrol it?
If there’s no money to fund the government, how is maintenance being paid for on the Camp David golf course? Is this a critical, essential function of the United States government? Are the housekeeping and landscaping staff at Camp David still on duty and being paid?
There have been several government shutdowns and several times that the government has gone into essential-personnel-only mode in the past. During none of these occasions have the monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C., been fenced off. No one was forced out of their vacation homes or told to shut down private businesses. Park Service employees were furloughed, and wilderness areas were closed.
President Obama and Sen. Reid may believe that they are being strong leaders and showing they are decisive in a crisis. Unfortunately, in fencing off national monuments, and chasing veterans out of the Viet Nam War Memorial, their behavior and actions are more appropriate to the temper tantrum of a 4-year old.
Ken McClellan, Middletown, Veteran