By Onan Coca
This has been a big weekend for democracy and demonstration in Washington, D.C. On Friday many truckers met to drive through D.C. in an attempt to disrupt traffic while letting Congress know that truckers across the country were displeased with the gridlock they saw in the legislature. Then on Sunday, a group calling themselves the Million Vets March on the Monuments, met at the WWII Memorial to express their displeasure that the Obama administration would use our national parks as a political tool to bludgeon the Republican Party with.
Perhaps the most important demonstration of the weekend though, happened on Saturday. On Saturday, hundreds of average American citizens showed up in D.C. for a clean-up day that organizers are calling the “Fix Up D.C.” National Day of Service. Inspired at least in part by the work of “the One Man Memorial Militia,” Chris Cox, who earlier this week was told by the National Parks Service (NPS) that he had to stop his cleaning and maintaining of the areas around the Lincoln and WWII Memorials.
“We came up with this idea when we saw the man from South Carolina come out and mow the lawn. We thought all of us could do the same thing,” said Ellen Wheeler, director of messaging for FreedomWorks. “Congress may try to shutdown the government but they can’t shutdown the people.”
The hundreds who gathered came at the behest of the FreedomWorks Foundation, the Tea Party Patriots, and media entrepreneur Glenn Beck of the Blaze. The idea was to empower ordinary Americans “to make a difference and do what government is not doing,” Deneen Borelli, who is a Liberty Alliance partner, explained.
Several prominent Tea Party leaders spoke to the volunteers, who were also addressed by Glenn Beck and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). The volunteers worked to clean up the area surrounding the National Mall which has not been maintained over the last two weeks (12 days) because of the government shutdown. Families picked up trash, raked leaves and worked to make the area more presentable. The hundreds of gathered volunteers may have had different reasons for being there, but the overall goal was to take care of our memorials… not the government’s memorials… OURS.
Former Marine, Ian Grinnals, made the six hour drive from Syracuse, New York to be at the cleanup day said it best, “I want to make sure these memorials stay clean for future veterans, especially veterans on these honor flights that are coming here usually on their last leg. They should have a place to come and be remembered.” Yes, sir.