The Corner

History Shutdown

From Ron Utt, formerly of the Heritage Foundation and currently a military-history author (we podcasted here), in an email:

In the past the employees of the National Park Service have enthusiastically served as the President’s shock troops in going out of their way to maximize the inconvenience to the public of any federal shutdown, and this time around is no exception.  Case in point is the Fredericksburg battlefield in the center of the town.  Other than the museum/office, all parts of the battlefield and the two parking lots that serve it are open 24/7 even though staff depart at 5:00.  Indeed it would be impossible to close it off since there are no gates or fences to secure it.  Nonetheless the NPS staff have risen to the challenge and have placed orange cones at the four entrances to the two parking lots.  Of course you can still visit the battlefield, you’ll just have to park someplace else.  They have also locked the gates to the cemetery, suggesting that their play at partisan politics is more important than America’s right to honor its war dead.  But even this egregious gesture is largely symbolic since the cemetery is unfenced in parts and the able bodied  can simply walk up a grass hill to get in.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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