Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin followed the crowd and the cameras to appear at a protest in D.C. at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Sunday, where the crowd pushed past barriers to protest the memorial’s closing under the government shutdown.
Prior to the rally, she met with some of the architects of the government shutdown: Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.
It’s unclear what they talked about, but it was unlikely that they discussed how the Veterans Affairs Department has furloughed almost 8,000 employees, half of whom are veterans. Or how they should do all that they can to open up the government so that servicemen can get their disability payments on time.
The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf has more to say on the subject:
[E]ven when the federal government is functioning normally, it fails to adequately care for the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, who are suffering from high rates of suicide, PTSD, and joblessness, in large part due to the wars of choice they were asked to fight and that conservatives, who are still allied with a faction of hawks urging even more wars of choice, overwhelmingly backed.
This, it probably goes without saying, will not change by storming the barriers to a monument in D.C.
Here’s Palin’s speech in full:
We were proud to stand with thousands of America’s vets and other patriotic Americans today in Washington, D.C. This morning, Todd and I met with Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, and they joined us and other Americans at the World War II Memorial and then at the Lincoln Memorial, where we were met by a SWAT team in full riot gear! Watching those who have fought to protect freedom prevented by barricades from visiting these memorials to freedom was truly heart wrenching. Seeing the unity of the American people as they joined together and rose up against this out of touch government was an inspiration. God bless our veterans, those who continue to serve, and their families.
I’ll be posting an album of some photos from today. Below are the brief remarks I gave today:
We’re here to show that the size of America’s heart for our veterans is immeasurable! But look around – barricades to shut down our memorials? Is this how a Commander in Chief expresses his gratitude? This “shutdown” priority proves a shameful lack of respect. It reflects a person’s lack of valor.
But, Vets, We the People have learned from you! We know America will only remain the “Home of the Free” so long as we are the “Home of the Brave!”
So, as we honor you, U.S. Military, know that our gratitude will not sleep! We will be brave! You were not timid, so we shall not be timid in calling out ANY who heart-wrenchingly would use you as pawns in a political game.
America’s finest paid the price for our freedom today. Vets, you protected us from tyranny then. Rest now, it is OUR turn to protect against tyranny again.
Ronald Reagan said, “Some people live an entire lifetime wondering if they ever made a difference in the world.” YOU, vets, need never ask that of yourselves. You made ALL the difference!
Our war memorials remind us of the cost to keep us free. YOU paid the price! Rest now! We will pick up the mantle. We won’t let you down. We now take up the fight for freedom!
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org