Government shutdown stretches all the way to Normandy

Rob Fox from Lower Merion planned to visit the graves of the American soldiers killed on the beaches of Normandy in World War II.

“We went to the cemetery and stood outside. It was locked. You could not get in,” Fox said. “[There was a] sign on the door in paper saying, ‘Government shutdown. Closed.”

As the federal Government shutdown continues into its eighth day, Americans are encountering closures of sites throughout the United States and, it turns out, overseas.

The Normandy burial ground for more than 9,000 military personnel is operated by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The division is shut while Congress is stalled on passage of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.

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“We were there with people who had relatives who had fought in the war who could not go into the cemetery,” said Fox.

“It’s not a partisan issue for me. It was just an incredible disappointment.”

“It’s the ultimate irony,” he reflected, “when you go to the Normandy beaches and get to the cemetery and you see the heroism and what they were fighting for, which was democratic principles, and we can’t govern democratically at home.”

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