For the Million Vet March, veterans marched on Washington on Sunday in protest of the shutdown, which has kept Americans from visiting war memorials across the country.
Turnout was heavy even with the sky over the nation’s capital filling with gray and rain, which didn’t deter the support of several star conservatives, including Sarah Palin, Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.
“This is the people’s memorial,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told a crowd of several hundred gathered near the WWII Memorial on the closed National Mall, which has become a national symbol of the shutdown and the country’s response. “Simple question: Why is the federal government spending money to keep veterans out of the memorial? Why did they spend money to keep people out of Mount Vernon, Mount Rushmore? Our veterans should be above political games.”
Veterans, including many in wheelchairs, were allowed inside the memorial at about midday as others took the protest all the way to the edge of the White House South Lawn.
“Today somebody’s wife [or] husband is dead in Afghanistan. Is somebody going to pay her husband [or] his wife or their children?” one protester shouted at the White House, referring to the partial shutdown cutting off benefits for the survivors of military personnel.
“Veterans have proven they are not timid and we will not be timid and calling out any that use military as pawns,” Palin told the crowd assembled at the Million Vet March on Memorials. “We can only be America, home of the free, if we are America, home of the brave.”
Protesters were shouting “U.S.A.” and “Tear down these walls,” laying the blame rightly on President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders.
“In a mean-spirited fit of selfish anger, Barack Obama has shut down our nation’s war memorials,” march organizers said in a press release. “And he has declared open war on our honored veterans. The World War II memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Obama has shut them all down to force his will on the House of Representatives and, frankly, to get revenge on the American people who oppose ObamaCare and his other naked power grabs.”
While the mainstream media has been focusing on all of the fracturing in the Republican Party, the Million Vet March has underscored those taking place within the ranks of the Democratic Party. Democratic voters were among the protestors the exact moment Sen. Joe Manchin D-WV, told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that — as a public servant — he didn’t “sign up to inflict unnecessary pain” on the American people for political gain.