Viewpoint: The government shut-down has far-reaching impact

By on October 11, 2013

In a time of uncertainty, with the United States government having shut down, many of its national monuments have been closed as a result. Many people have been disappointed and foiled by these sudden closings – some specific ones having plans for these monuments. Among the monuments closed are the Jefferson Memorial, Mount Rushmore, and the Grand Canyon. However, just because the government has put a stop to these beloved monuments doesn’t mean the good people of this country – particularly those who lives in the states that these monuments can be found in – are fighting to keep them open and/or make up for it.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer “wants the iconic park reopened and has offered to pay for it with state money, but her proposal was rejected Thursday by a park official who said that as long as the federal government remains shut down, such a plan isn’t an option” (Fox News). Along with her, several businesses have been working to gather money to donate to the Grand Canyon in order to keep it open. Sadly, as long as the government is shut down, park officials declare, so will the Grand Canyon; nothing will change it.

South Dakota’s governor, Dennis Daugaard, “had offered to use state employees to keep Mount Rushmore open” (Fox News). It is a shame that monuments formed by nature and the hands of people cannot be accessed by those who cherish their history.

“It’s ridiculous,” An Arizona House Speaker, Andy Tobin, said, “Why wouldn’t the federal government let local communities or states assist in keeping some of these things open?” (Fox News). Tobin’s question makes sense because it shows how much the states care about their national pride and the people who come to see them. It is obvious that it isn’t about making a profit since they are willing to use their own money and employees to keep them open.

Of the national monuments in D.C., several October weddings have been postponed as a result of the government shutdown as well. Months and perhaps years of planning have been foiled by a single night of shutting the government down for an indefinite period of time. Even with these shutdowns there are people out there who are still willing to make these couples’ weddings memorial. Television host of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert, hosted the wedding of “Mike Cassesso and MaiLien Le, a couple who had planned to have their wedding at the Jefferson Memorial” (Hollywood Reporter). Stephen Colbert, an ordained minister, wedded the two on his show which included wedding guests Smokey the Bear as the best man, “Mandy Patinkin, who offered a ‘nondenominational Jewish blessing’ for the couple, and Audra McDonald, who performed a ballad version of Billy Idol’s ‘White Wedding’ for the couple’s first dance” (Hollywood Reporter).

Even in the unfortunate mist of the government having shut down it is still heartwarming to see people working to keep our monuments open and help make memorial ceremonies that could no longer take place. Whether they’re serious like the governors or satirical like Colbert, they all are sincere in wanting to help in the midst of this shutdown.

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