Veterans protest government shutdown


Hundreds of people gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest the closings of national monuments during the government shutdown.

Senators Mike Lee from Utah, Ted Cruz from Texas, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin stood in front of the World War II memorial with veterans Sunday morning.

The memorial is one of many that has been closed since the government shutdown began October first.

Back here in Indiana, a smaller demonstration with a similar message held on the steps of the Indiana War Memorial.

"Veterans issues aren't a right or left issue, they are American," said Lisa.

Local demonstrations were organized by the Million Vet March, an online organization.

Hoosiers Eyewitness News talked with said watching video out of Washington D.C. showing the World War II memorial barricaded due to the government shutdown has many of them outraged.

"Closing our memorials especially to our world war II veterans, they are our greatest generation. We are also losing them at an alarming rate. To have their memorial closed off to them is shameful," said Lisa.

"Normally I sit at home or front of the TV and get aggravated. I said I am going up there today," said Theresa Block.

Theresa Block is not a veteran but drove up from Bloomington Sunday morning to be a part of this demonstration. Block said honoring those who've served is not a partisan issue. Block wants to see the federal monuments re-opened, immediately.

Several veterans are also worried the government shutdown may delay disability claims or pension payments.

According to Veteran's Affairs, more than 3.6 million veterans receive benefits.

"I believe government should take care of veterans. They are not taking care of veterans the way other countries take care of their veterans. They gave all," said Mike Kampmeier a Vietnam Veteran.

In New York, Lady Liberty is once again welcoming visitors to her shores Sunday after the state agreed to shoulder the costs of running the famed statue during the federal government shutdown.

New York's Governor said the state would pay about $61,000 per day to re-open Liberty Island through Thursday.