Carney: ‘We Honor Our WWII Veterans’

by Andrew Johnson

Jay Carney says that the Obama administration has been working with the National Park Service to make accommodations to allow World War II veterans to visit their memorial on the National Mall. Issues with services, including access to sites such as the National World War II Memorial, an open-air plaza in the national Mall normally open 24 hours a day to the public, should not come as a surprise given the government shutdown, he said.

“The [Department of the Interior] has granted a permit for the veterans that is consistent with the closure order,” Carney said at Wednesday’s daily briefing. “My understanding is that the closure order provides a process for accepting First Amendment activities on the National Mall and memorial parks.”

Since Tuesday’s government shutdown, at least two groups of WWII veterans brought to Washington by Honor Flight, a nonprofit dedicated to flying veterans to their respective memorials, had to break down physical barricades in order to walk around the memorial. Park Service staff let the veterans onto the site today on the grounds that the closed parks can still issue permits for “First Amendment activities.” Carney assured that “DOI will remain in contact with the Honor Flight organization to ensure that veterans scheduled to travel to D.C. are provided access to the memorial.”