The government shutdown threatened to keep dozens of Illinois veterans from getting to Washington, DC to visit the World War II Memorial.
Fred Yanno is an 89-year-old WWII vet and was among those on the Honor Flight from Midway Airport to Washington D.C. this morning. Before he took off, he said he was angry about the government shutdown that forced the closing of the WWII Veterans Memorial. Yesterday veterans knocked down the barricade that kept them out. Fred said he would break in if he had to. It’s a trip he may never get to do again.
But Fred didn’t have to break down any barricade. The government did not have the heart or maybe they didn’t want to deal with the wrath of the thousands of vets who visit here daily and kept the memorial open.
Fred and 90 other veterans from the second World War took part in the today’s Honor Flight, a program dedicated to flying vets for free to see the wall that bears the names of their colleagues who died. It’s a beautiful solemn place to reflect on those who were killed.
But the past few days it has become more than that. These vets who served our country are now feeling the effects of an ineffective government. And they don’t like it.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Mark Kirk, in his own wheelchair, met with veterans as well.
There’s late word that the Republican National Committee has put aside enough money to hire five security guards full time to keep the memorial open.