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Shutdown closes overseas cemeteries? Stop the Madness!

Posted: October 13, 2013 at 9:30 am   /   by

By Christopher Kelly

Commander K. at ABMC cemetery Florence, IT

Napoleon said, “The boundaries of a nation’s empire are marked by the graves of her soldiers.”  The boundaries of America’s Empire of Liberty* are demarcated by the graves of the American Battle Monuments Commission  The Commission has eleven sites in France with soldiers from both World Wars.  They lovingly tend the graves of those who died in the Mexican-American war (1846-1848) in Mexico City and those who perished in Operation Torch in Tunisia (1942).

They commemorate the sacrifice of those who died in the campaign to liberate Italy from fascism that began 70 years ago this year (

Today a visitor will find this message on the ABMC site…”NOTICE TO ABMC VISITORS
Due to a lack of funding for ABMC operations (U.S. Government shutdown), ABMC cemeteries and memorials are temporarily closed. We are unable to respond to your inquiries or provide the services and products described in the “Services Available” section of this Web site. We regret any inconvenience these temporary actions may cause. ABMC will resume normal operations when a new funding measure is passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President of the United States.”

All US overseas cemeteries are now closed.  The Normandy cemetery overlooking Omaha beach is shut.  Flanders Field in Belgium is closed. The This means that American family members hoping to visit the graves of loved ones, regardless of how long they may have travelled, are out of luck.   The Transatlantic scout troops, among others, are now not welcome to teach the lesson of sacrifice to a new generation across these monuments to our fallen heroes.

General Pershing said that “Time will not dim the glory of their deeds.”  Our government, however, has managed to limit our access to their memory.

We note that American World War II vets, many of which are terminally ill, have had to storm the monuments in Washington D.C.  (  Officious park employees have been directed by this administration to increase the pain levels for vets and the American people in order to score political points in the shutdown debate.

We note that legislators and the Administration have failed utterly to take care of the families of fallen American heroes, denying next of kin insurance payments.  Why should grieving military families become “collateral damage” of the political paralysis that plagues our nation?  Is this simply “gross incompetence” or is something more sinister at work?

We note that questions about what really happened in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 and the crude cover up that followed continue to go unanswered  (

Why does our government seem to exhibit a systematic disrespect for the veterans that have done so much over so many years for our country?

H.L. Mencken once wrote, “Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”  Now, more than ever.

Requiem For A Soldier”

You never lived to see
What you gave to me
One shining dream of hope and love
Life and liberty

With a host of brave unknown soldiers
For your company, you will live forever
Here in our memory

In fields of sacrifice
Heroes paid the price
Young men who died for old men’s wars
Gone to paradise

We are all one great band of brothers
And one day you’ll see we can live together
When all the world is free

I wish you’d lived to see
All you gave to me
Your shining dream of hope and love
Life and liberty

We are all one great band of brothers
And one day you’ll see – we can live together
When all the world is free