One of the most high-profile effects of the shutdown has been the closure of monuments and memorials on the Mall.
Of course, a big reason so much attention has been paid to the shuttering of the World War II Memorial and other landmarks is because groups of veterans have stormed these spots anyway. A group of World War II veterans visited the memorial to that war on Tuesday, bypassing the barriers; the same day, Korean War veterans moved the barricades at the Korean War Veterans Memorial to lay a wreath. The scene repeated itself on Wednesday, with another group of veterans (again accompanied by members of Congress) entering the grounds of the World War II Memorial.
Stories about veterans storming closed memorials were quickly picked up by news outlets and spread far and wide on social media platforms.
But all closures are not created equally. The Smithsonian museums on the Mall? Those are definitely locked. Some of the parks and memorials around D.C.? Not so much.
On Friday, the fourth day of the shutdown, gates and closed signs remained but visitors weren’t paying them much heed. The Post’s Michael Ruane reports that at the World War II Memorial on Friday, visitors simply walked by the park rangers manning a gate without being stopped. The American Legion also held a news conference there, saying they want the memorial to stay open. At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, gates had been pushed aside, and the memorial was crowded with visitors.
This followed several days of similar events around the Mall and elsewhere. Children played on Wednesday inside supposedly closed parks on Capitol Hill.
Still, even though visitors are still making their way into closed memorials and strolling around the Mall, they are encountering a different problem. Some memorials may be accessible, but the bathrooms are all closed.