A crowd gathers at the World War II Memorial to support a rally centered around reopening national memorials closed by the government shutdown, supported by military veterans, Tea Party activists and Republicans on Oct. 13 in Washington. (Andrew Burton / Getty Images)
The National World War II Memorial, the center of many protests since the partial government shutdown on Oct. 1, will be the backdrop of yet another rally on Tuesday aimed at embarrassing Congress and the White House into action.
The Military Coalition, a group of 33 military and veterans’ organizations sharing a common agenda, plans to hold a rally and news conference calling on Congress and the White House to reach a compromise on the government shutdown and national debt limit.
“The shutdown has been devastating for the nation’s military readiness and for the veterans, service members, families and survivors in the uniformed services community,” says a Coalition announcement.
“Veterans who receive disability and GI Bill benefits and survivors who rely on survivor benefits don’t know if they’ll get their next check,” the statement says. “National Guard and reserve monthly training has been canceled, affecting critical troop readiness and pay. Many services that military families count on daily are suspended. Veterans make up 27 percent of the federal workforce and don’t know when they will get to go back to work. The 435,000 veterans in the VA disability claims backlog have to wait even longer.”
The event will be less dramatic than the Oct. 1 shoving aside of barricades by World War II veterans who had flown to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorial dedicated to their service and the Oct. 13 rally that ended with the near-arrest of veterans who had carried barricades from the memorial to drop in front of the White House and tried to scale the iron fence surrounding the presidential compound.
However, the Coalition represents 5.5 million people, including current service members, retirees, veterans and their families.
Among the speakers will be representatives of the American Legion, which with 2.4 million members is the nation’s largest veterans group, along with Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the National Military Family Association.