The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 1, 2013

Vets invade shuttered WWII Memorial in protest over shutdown

WWII vets from Mississippi, in their 80s and 90s, toppled barriers to see the memorial. "This is ridiculous," said one

WASHINGTON — The 91 veterans on an Honor Flight from Mississippi weren't going to be denied the chance to see the memorial built for them.

Arriving on four charter buses at Washington's National Mall Tuesday morning on the first day of a federal government shutdown, the vets found the World War II monument barricaded and its fountain idle. A sign on the fence read "Because of the Federal Government SHUTDOWN, All National Parks Are CLOSED."

Honor Flights fly veterans in and out the same day, meaning for most this was their final opportunity to see the memorial. With a bagpipe escort, the veterans ignored the barriers and walked or were pushed in wheelchairs to see the column for Mississippi. Park Police stood by, watching.

"This is ridiculous," said Tom Bratner, 89, who served as a Seabee during the liberation of Guam in 1944. "I hate the Republicans. They're pulling all kinds of stuff trying to hold hostage things like this."

The first partial government shutdown in 17 years shuttered national parks and government offices from coast to coast. It also sent hundreds of thousands of federal workers home after they reported to work to secure files, post closed signs on their doors and change voice-mail messages to inform callers they wouldn't be working until the budget impasse was solved.

Jeanette Joyner, an Army budget analyst who survived the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, left her office today after getting a furlough notice, while bracing for the uncertainty to come. Joyner, 45, was one of an estimated 400,000 civilian defense workers put on furlough.

Absorbing the pain of a lost paycheck won't come easy, she said.

"My office took a direct hit," she said of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in which American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. "I crawled out of a bathroom. If I can survive 9/11 and come back to this building, I can survive this."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Congress racing to finish Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills

    July 31, 2014

  • Target New CEO [Duplicate] Target names Pepsi's Cornell as chairman, CEO MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target has hired Pepsi executive Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO as it looks to recover from a huge data breach and troubles in Canada. Cornell replaces interim CEO John Mulligan, who is chief financial officer for the M

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain wave monitoring is better gauge than using a focus group, study says To predict a large population’s likely response to something — a product, politician or policy — political consultants, marketing gurus and advertising execs have long favored the focus group. Ask a small segment of the target audience what it thinks

    July 31, 2014

  • Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. A midnight Wednesd

    July 31, 2014

  • Exchange Bee Researcher [Duplicate] Bee researcher takes aim at central Minnesota park WAITE PARK — Crystal Boyd strained four bees, three flies and one leafhopper from a yellow pan trap, the third of 12 in a transect topping a granite outcrop in Quarry Park Scientific and Natural Area.She popped everything into a labeled, zip-top plas

    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90 Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert M

    July 30, 2014

  • Homeowner killed, another injured in Vegas crime spree LAS VEGAS — A horrific carjacking and home invasion spree ended with two people dead and a woman in critical condition. One victim, Richard Ramos, a 59-year-old father of four, “fought to his death” to protect his wife and children from their attack

    July 30, 2014

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-9 [Duplicate] UPDATE: Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police. St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-3 [Duplicate] Minnesota officer killed making traffic stop WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop and authorities said they were searching for a suspect. Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot about 12:20 p.m. after pulli

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Possible suspect caught in Minnesota cop shooting WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Minnesota has been captured. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the officer was killed. Television news footage showed the man being pulled from his vehicle Wednes

    July 30, 2014