Not just the one in Normandy, either. All 24 overseas cemeteries are being shuttered while the shutdown is on because … that’s just the way it is. Presumably it has to do with lack of funding for security. In that case, do the children and grandchildren of fallen American soldiers who’ve flown across the ocean to pay their respects really need to be policed to make sure they don’t vandalize anything? If you’re worried about the locals doing something like that, you could close the cemetery overnight and ask for volunteers to stand watch and call the cops if any opportunistic miscreants swing by during the day. I’m reasonably sure you could find volunteers for a job like that. But once again, the government wants to maximize hardship during the shutdown, not mitigate it.
So if you’re in Normandy right now and hoping to visit grandpa’s grave, I guess this is a lesson to you to be careful about supporting parties that support shutdowns.
Tourists travelling to Omaha Beach to pay their respects to the 9,387 military dead at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial will find it closed, a victim of the U.S. government’s partial shutdown.
The site overlooking the D-Day invasion beaches is one of 24 U.S. military cemeteries overseas that have closed to visitors since Monday. Ten more cemeteries in France, as well as others in various European countries as well as Mexico, Panama, Tunisia and the Philippines, will remain closed for the duration of the shutdown.
Legal Insurrection is calling on the GOP to offer a small funding bill aimed at re-opening the cemeteries. No doubt they will, given the play this story’s getting in the news today, and no doubt Reid will instruct has caucus to vote no on it just like he wants them to vote no on restoring NIH funds for kids with cancer. It’s more important to maintain the “no negotiation” posture and deny the GOP any opportunity to ease the consequences of the shutdown than to, say, let the kids of the men who died on Omaha Beach into the cemetery in Normandy. If they can’t impose a hardship on living vets to teach people that Shutdowns Are Bad, maybe they can get ‘em in death.