Photos of the Great World War II Memorial Rebellion of 2013

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 2 2013 1:49 PM

Photos of the Great World War II Memorial Rebellion of 2013

Three buses of World War II veterans (and some volunteers) arrived at the World War II Memorial at 11 a.m. Almost all were from Missouri or Illinois, according to Honor Flight, which charters and runs these journeys for aging veterans. Before we descend into the mucky-muck of politics, let's remember that it should be about these guys. I met a Navy man who landed on Okinawa, so my day's pretty much made.

photo 4 (2)

Now, on to the great Optics wars. The Mall in Washington is currently sort-of-kind-of blocked off to tourists. At various points, flimsy barricades prevent them from entering memorials. How flimsy? Here's how the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which has not been the subject of a political foofarah, now looks.

photo 5 (1)

The foofarah is reserved for the World War II Memorial, where mostly Republican members of Congress are showing up to make a show of removing the barricade when Honor Flight delegations show up. The Honor Flights bring World War II veterans to D.C., and are often accompanied, without much media fanfare, by members of Congress from their states. Rep. Michele Bachmann was the first member on site today, even though the delegations were not from Minnesota.

photo 1 (2)

Day one of the protest had made news, and a few locals arrived to make their "just do something already" opinion known. "They spent more effort closing this thing down than they do keeping it open!"

photo 2 (2)

At 11 a.m., when the Honor Flight-ers arrived, members of Congress gathered in front of the entrance closest to the tour buses and made a show of rolling back the barricade.

This was half-welcome, half-irritating. Sen. Claire McCaskill talked openly about how annoying it was for members of Congress whose states weren't even represented in the delegation to take up space at the entrance. To wit:

photo 2 (1)

It did look strange, at times, members of Congress folding into a crowd of veterans who, on a normal day, might only be accompanied by a local news crew. Here's a shot of Honor Flight-ers singing "Amazing Grace," joined by Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Kevin Yoder—the latter of "nude swim in the sea of Gallilee" fame.

photo 5 (2)

After I left, the RNC announced that Chairman Reince Priebus would appear at the memorial to commit the party to 30 days of funds to keep the place open. If it came to that.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Culturebox

The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here

I feel like a kid in some kind of store.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The Difference Between Being a Hero and an Altruist

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
Quora
Oct. 22 2014 9:51 AM What Was It Like to Work at NASA During the Challenger and Columbia Disasters?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 9:54 AM The Simpsons World App Is Finally Here I feel like a kid in some kind of store.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 8:43 AM Thunderstruck: Rock Out With Mother Nature’s Evil Side
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 9:39 AM Gertjie and Lammie, a Magical (and Bizarre) Friendship
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.