By Dennis Jamison
SAN JOSE, November 11, 2013 — President Obama on October 20, 2009 presented a Presidential Unit Citation to honor the heroism of U.S. Army Alpha Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry that performed exceptionally under fire to aid and rescue another American infantry company in Vietnam.
CBS reporter, Mark Knoller characterized Obama’s closing remarks as a ‘public scolding’ from President Obama, who reflected on the fact that Vietnam veterans were often “shunned and neglected, even demonized” when they came home from the war and called it “one of the saddest episodes in American history” and a “national disgrace” the way Vietnam veterans were treated.
The president made quite an emphatic statement that day, “On days such as this… we resolve to never let it happen again.”
In addition, he was quoted as saying that, “America is forever grateful…” and that such gratitude “always includes showing our troops the respect and dignity they deserve, whether one agrees with the mission or not.” As he addressed some of the former members of Alpha Troop, Obama said “our responsibility as citizens and as a nation (is) to always remain worthy of your service.” It must have been quite a moving ceremony and the words uttered by the president are very true indeed.
But is it he now who must be publically scolded for his treatment of America’s veterans?
The recent debacle in October of this year occurred as the Administration’s petty closing of the national memorials and monuments seemed to deliver the exact opposite message as many WWII veterans had to overcome serious obstacles to obtain access to the memorial built in their honor. While damage control at the White House managed to quell much of the gaffe, there were several hiccups which left quite a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Though Media Matters and other news outlets tried their best to cover for the public relations mess, a pathetic and petty closure of the nation’s memorials and monuments delivered a much louder message.
Controversy and conflict reigned in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country as the Obama Administration sought to make a political statement about the budget crisis and the federal shutdown by spending more money to make sure barricades would be erected to block normally easy-access public monuments. The people, and especially a number of elderly WWII veterans, were the ones inconvenienced and made to suffer.
The irony is that most of the veteran’s memorials are open-air structures that are accessible by the public all hours of the day and night – unless of course the National Park Service has been instructed to go out of their way in erecting barriers to keep people away from the ‘public’ areas.
The bantering back and forth over who closed what, and to whom, and when it was supposed to happen, or not happen, was certainly as pathetic as the orders to close the designated national areas. The first day of the government shutdown was Tuesday, October 1st and the Administration had already prepared the National Park Service and they seemed to be more than ready to comply with the closures. In a memo, reportedly from October 1st, from the director of the National Park Service, Jonathan Jarvis, specific closure procedures related how the shutdown would be implemented and how it would affect national monuments and parks across the country.
It was this memo that the Administration referred to defend why an Immigration Rally on the Mall was permitted access on October 8th. Apparently this memo made it clear that any First Amendment activities that had been planned previously were to be exempted from the rules in 36 C.F.R. 1.5. The pertinent section of the memo stated:
More at link:
Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/focus-freedom/2013/nov/11/obama-administration-worthy-american-veterans/#ixzz2kLzsWc22