Shutdown? Strolling through barricades

Vietnam closedHow do you explain to foreigners the madness that has covered Washington lately?

Baricades in front of the Lincoln Memorial? Veterans groups arriving to television cameras at the World War II? Fountains turned off? A man set himself on fire by the National Air and Space Museum?

Shutting down the monuments is an insult to the American people. But that said, my tours on Thursday night and Friday morning showed people can largely see the monuments despite barricades and blocked streets. I took a multi-national group at night and a group of Slovakians on Friday and we off-loaded at the World War II and walked past the Martin Luther King, Jr. and D.C. World War I memorials and up to the Korean and Lincoln memorials. The Vietnam Memorial’s gates were wide open at night and during the day everyone just stepped over the chains.

There were no park police around to say otherwise. Civil disobedience? Maybe, but the police aren’t arresting anyone until truly forced. You can see pretty well by the barricades, though it’s not the same experience.

The deadly car chase at the White House and Capitol Hill was erased at both scenes within hours so groups could see both sites.

Tensions are high between the shutdown, recent Navy Yard murders and now the car chase. Congress needs to wake up because our town is under seige.

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