As you may or may not know, the Normandy American Cemetery in France has been closed because of the shutdown of the US Federal Government. This cemetery is maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission, an agency of the executive branch of the federal governement.
Normandy is near and dear to my heart and one of my favorite places to visit when in France. The American Cemetery in Normandy is truly a special place, so I was sadden when one of the people for whom I had arranged a Normandy Tour could not visit it because of the govenerment shutdown. I would like to share with you a letter that he wrote to his local newspaper when he returned home about his experience.
I am 53 years old. I love my country and the freedoms it provides. I revere our Constitution that guarantees those freedoms and perpetuates the only multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-racial democracy in world history.
The term "bucket list" has become cliché. But a year ago I planned to fulfill an item on my list -- a trip to Normandy to honor those who, as Lincoln said, "have given the last full measure of their devotion" to uphold these principles.
It is Saturday October 5th, and I’m in Normandy, but I cannot visit the cemetery at Omaha Beach because our government is shut down. I am disappointed, of course, but any small loss personally is immeasurable against the losses of our heroic soldiers and their families then and now.
I fear the real loss, however, is the loss of the very principles we fought to preserve almost 70 years ago: a democracy of majority rule where the rule of law remains sacrosanct.
Seventy years ago we vanquished demagoguery and fascism. As I stand behind the closed gates of our treasured memorial to our greatest generation, I feel saddened deeply that we have dishonored our past and imperiled our future.Robert D. Fox, Managing Partner, Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP
I have also included a link to an online article about his experience regarding the shutdown of the American Cemetery in Normandy from an online publication called NewsWorks ©.