Do You Hear the People Sing?


The government shutdown in D.C. closed all the monuments on the Mall. That included the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and all the other iconic places in Washington. (The Washington Monument is closed for repairs from the August, 2011 earthquake, so no harm, no foul in that case.)

Tourists and visitors who had come to the city could look at the monuments from a distance, but not go very close to them. Visitors included a group of World War II veterans here courtesy of Freedom Flight, a group which flies vets in to visit the World War II Memorial. Barricades stood in the way of anyone who would want to actually walk the monument grounds. Then something wonderful happened. The barricades were moved aside. Some Congressmen who were there said they didn’t know how it happened: someone did it, and the vets could visit this incredibly meaningful and poignant place. They had earned it, after all.

I have an idea that the men and women who stormed the beaches at Normandy and Iwo Jima were not going to be deterred by a few metal stands. I have tremendous admiration for these men and women who served actively and those who kept the home fires burning. My novel (due out October 22), On Wings of the Morning, is a tribute to this generation. And I’m glad to see that they still have the right stuff. You rock my world, World War II vets!

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