Sufficient forces had arrived onsite between 8 and 8:30 AM that the dismantlement of the WW2 memorial barrier commenced. Despite the fact that the boot-licking toadies at the NPS had joined the barriers together with aircraft cable, and CRIMPED fasteners, I am told by a number of those who were there then (I was still enroute at that time) that the removal of the barrier took no more than 5 minutes, through the use of bolt-cutters, wire cutters, linesman's pliers and sheer rage. The steel barriers, many of them the worse for wear, were piled up along 17th street, at least for the moment.
Notice was apparently then taken of the fact that the Vietnam, Korean War and Lincoln memorials were similarly encumbered, and the ad-hoc First Amendment preservation committee, comprised of a goodly number of Oathkeepers from all over the country and a large number of veteran bikers together with some assistance from the general public, proceeded to correct this egregious error on the Communist-in-Chief's part, and opened those monuments, too. I did not go and see either the Vietnam or Korean monuments, but I did see when I got to the WW2 memorial that a large number of people were visiting the Lincoln memorial (pardon me while I spit at the mention of his name.)
About the time I arrived on the scene, around 10, (see above) the motion had apparently been made, seconded and passed by acclamation that Comrade Soetero must be missing his Barrycades and being good citizens we ought to return them, a delegation of several thousand citizens proceeded up 17th street with a goodly selection of the now definitely used Barrycades in tow and overhead. They used all four lanes, and vehicular traffic had to go elsewhere. I did not follow that effort, but two of my companions did; I may get some photos from that later this week.
Here is a shot of the few barriers that were left at the WW2 memorial. I took this around 11:00 or so.
--"Leave while you are still free to!" (Good idea. Remember what befell your co-religionist Ceausescu. Or Morsi. Tyrants frequently make the mistake of overstaying their welcome; It's always better when looting a country to leave early. Hell, if you'd leave now and take that drooling senile moron Biden with you, I'd be willing to let you leave with your loot and count that a bargain!)
--"Impeach Obama" (Advise to the House and Senate, actually, but an excellent idea nonetheless. This was repeated at length, by many committee members)
--"Don't tread on me!" (timeless and worthwhile reminder to both you and your lackeys)
(While the delegation to the Spite House was delivering their cargo and their message, I was told that a splinter faction of the Committee departed for the Capitol building to express their displeasure at the apparent lack of congressional ability to either read or do simple mathematics; i.e. to point out that the House is supposed to set the budget, and that we cannot keep spending more than we take in. A lot of folks were very upset at the shutdown and wanted to express their displeasure, as is their Constitutionally guaranteed right. Frankly, I'm not upset about the shutdown at all. I think that spending 20% less on government is something which we obviously can easily do, and that with a little effort we can reduce the expenditure another 30%. Hey, if we did that we'd almost have the immediate debt problem solved! Well, it's not going to be nearly that easy, but seriously, we are going to have to actually do this sooner or later, why not start now?)
Meanwhile, back at the ORP, or the entrance to the WW2 memorial, I decided that while I waited for the guests of honor to arrive (I had heard that there were some Honor Flight WW2 veterans on their way to the memorial) that I would walk around it and see it for myself. I met a number of very nice people while I walked around it, and found the memorial itself both deeply moving and calming. There were foreign tourists there, lots of veterans of all ages, and even apparently a school trip to the memorial (!) [if anybody knows the story behind that I'd LOVE to hear it!]
The bronze artwork on the entrance walls to the memorial is superb, and evocative. One can easily imagine how the Soldiers, Sailors and Marines depicted in these images must have felt, not to mention those left on the home front. I won't bore you with too many of my lousy pictures, but if you have not yet been to this memorial, it is worth a trip all by itself. I'm glad I went simply for the chance to see this memorial, apart from any broader reason. Next time Mrs. Historian will come with me, I hope, and she takes much better pictures than I.
There was quite a bit of discussion between the various OathKeepers, and back and forth movement between the OathKeepers and the periphery of the Mall, runners carrying information, and bikers roaring off to the West end of the Mall and back. One of the runners came back to the ORP and announced that the police were being paid by and working for the IMF. (We had gone past the IMF building on our way to the WW2 memorial, and they had the street blocked and traffic flow all screwed up.) My comment to that was "We call people like that mercenary whores!" which got a few laughs and a fair bit of agreement.
Finally, around 11 am, a bus carrying the Honor Flight veterans arrived at 17th and Constitution. I was at the Memorial entrance, and could not see clearly, but it appears that the OathKeepers managed to persuade the police(more anon) to allow the bus to enter 17th street and unload the veterans, who had traveled from Washington State. As they approached, thousands of bystanders cheered and applauded them. I made it a personal point to thank each one of them as they came past me. I'm glad I had a chance to thank just a few of these men out of the millions who served. I'm grateful for their service, for having gone out and done their duty to their comrades, to defend the ideals of the Republic, and to honor their oath to defend the Constitution. I should have taken more pictures but I was so moved by seeing these men (and one lady!) coming that I completely forgot to take any. I'm even more grateful that the people of these united States were able to come together and overcome the cruel, spiteful, hateful, and vicious acts of the most anti-American administration ever inflicted on the Republic.
Here is an example of what I mean by that. These barricades were not secured with padlocks, or any other readily removeable means. They were held together with fine wire high strength aircraft cable and CRIMPED IN PLACE. Think about that for a moment.
There was NO way to unlock this barrier without destroying it, and the cable used is one of the most difficult to defeat. The malevolent intent behind this is crystal clear; the Communist-in-Chief sitting right up the street in the Spite House intended for this barrier to be unremoveable. And the National Park Service obeyed his order to MAXIMIZE THE PAIN INFLICTED BY THE ADMINISTRATION ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
As I told one of the veterans who defeated this barrier today, I don't think that there are enough bad words in the English language to adequately describe the behaviour of an entity who would do that to anybody let alone to the 80 and 90 year old survivors of those who fought against totalitarianism. Of course, as he is a Muslim Marxist, perhaps he sees this as an opportunity to get some payback on the men who spoiled socialism's efforts. And this miserable substitute for a real human being sits in the Spite House masquerading as our President? How in the name of decency did we let this happen? Why in the name of goodness and reason do we allow it to continue? Why do you, gentle reader, consent to these outrages?
As far as the Park Service is concerned, if this sort of outrage is how we're going to get serviced in the future, thanks, I'll do without! I think the evidence of the last week is overwhelming that we don't need you, and I will make it a point to remind everyone I meet that the Park Service has taken the lead in making things AS PAINFUL AS THEY CAN for the American public. Every single person involved in this outrage from bottom to top needs to be fired and barred from any further employment in the Federal government whatever. They might do well as pond cleaners for the Blue Plains sewage treatment plant, though; their stink ought not make the atmosphere at Blue Plains much worse.
Now on to some observations and lessons learned-
-I had a list, and thought I knew where things were, but some were not where I expected them to be, and I missed my departure time searching for stuff I wanted to bring. In the event, my companions and I did not need gasmasks, gloves and hardhats, but it took more time than I had allowed to collect these items. Still I had allowed extra time for difficulties and we arrived in Rosslyn about on schedule so that I was confident we'd be there around 9. Then I discovered that my target area was not the same as I remembered it. Whooops!
-No parking. All the parking lots I knew from 6 years ago were either not there anymore or closed for Sundays, first in Roslyn then in DC. PPPPPP. I did have a tertiary backup plan which worked, but it cost me at least half an hour, more like 45 minutes. I need to work on that; things change faster than you know, and relying on stale information can be a bad thing. Nobody was depending on me, but I did not meet my own standards. A word to the wise. Scout the area before hand; DO NOT rely on old data for opplans.
-between my trick knees and ankles and what Mel Tappan humorously used to call "portable modular food storage," AKA body fat, I was in real pain by the time I had walked just a few miles with a relatively light rucksack (<40 lbs) on flat pavement. This simply won't do, and PT just went to the top of the list.
Now some other things-
-I have heard a lot of things about Oathkeepers, good and bad, but today these guys stepped up to the plate and delivered. I saw Oathkeepers put themselves between some scared, pissed-off cops and some really enraged veterans. And the cops (wisely) backed off. I am told, but did not see personally, that the bouncing of patrol cars by the biker vets was a powerful inducement to reasonable behaviour by the cops. Some of these folks came from half way across the country for this; I spoke at length to an Oathkeeper from Nebraska, and he closed his business and drove across country with his two sons to support this mission. There was obviously a lot of very quick planning and organization done, and I am impressed. I think Oathkeepers is a significant force for good, and I will look into this further.
-After the initial success and downing of the barriers, there was a lot of conflicting information flying around; lots of supporters like me who arrived too late for the first act but wanted to help and support the effort were not well utilized. A few of the vets and the Oathkeepers had radio comms, but they were too few. Common commo platforms would be helpful when the shit really hits the fan, and this probably ought to be looked at. Even a sign or a flag that said something like: "Want to help? Volunteer here!" and a volunteer coordinator team would have made a huge difference. Programmable encrypted comms need to be looked at.
-I and my group depended too much on cell commo. We need a better system. I shall give that more thought this week.
-The Orcs of Mordor, meaning the popo and the NPS, despite over a week's notice, were visibly outclassed and disconcerted. This is not to say that in the future such will be the case, but at least this time the moral high ground prevailed and did so easily.
-Although most of the vets had a plan for dealing with more serious resistance, we need more numbers. The next time the Communist-in-Chief tries this kind of putsch, we need 10 times that many people, a hundred times that many people. What are you people thinking? Why do you tolerate this continuing festering filth in the Spite House? THEY RULE YOU ONLY BY YOUR CONSENT!
DO NOT COMPLY!
With undying gratitude to the veterans of all ages who made my tardiness today completely irrelevant and my presence redundant, and with regard to all who serve the Light,