This weekend marked the “Million Vet March” in Washington, D.C. The march was comprised of thousands of veterans, young and old, who simply had enough of the Obama Administration’s attempts to keep them out of memorials and other sites owned by the “people” of the United States and earned by the veterans who have served this country.
The crowd reportedly demonstrated and then physically removed barricades that had been ordered by the President to be erected around memorials following the recent government shutdown. The veterans were joined by several Republican Congressmen, including Senator Ted Cruz from Texas and Senator Mike Lee from Utah.
While the group remained peaceful, they were large in number. At some point, the veterans decided to carry the torn down barricades (cleverly renamed barrycades) to the front of the White House where they eventually stacked them against the White House gate. It was a show of frustration by these veterans and a statement to the President that the American people and not the government own the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial and even the White House.
The crowd sang “God Bless America,” other patriotic songs and yelled “Tear down these walls,” a reference to the famous speech delivered by then Republican President Ronald Reagan to then Soviet Union President Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” referring to the Berlin Wall.
Although, many of the demonstrators at this weekend’s march were elderly and non-confrontational, that did not stop this President from releasing the heavy artillery as a show of force against this unarmed and peaceful crowd. Surely anyone watching the mounted police, officers in riot gear, armored trucks and the like, could see that this was a shameful act of intimidation by President Obama. As you may recall, even though President Obama wanted this weekend’s group of veteran disbursed, he once welcomed Occupy Wall Street’s demonstrators and their long-term camping out in Washington, D.C.
In looking at videos and pictures of the veteran’s event, I was reminded of another shameful show of force against veterans; that of President Herbert Hoover’s use of military force against World War I Veterans in Washington, D.C. in 1932.
Approximately 10,000 veterans “bonus army” and their families descended upon Washington, D.C. to demand that the “bonus certificates” that they had received from the government, be cashed in for money. The government had previously promised that they would honor these certificates upon request. However, because of the Great Depression, the government reneged on its promise.
Even the Senate rejected these World War I Veteran’s demands. After congress adjourned for the summer, the cowardly senators left or sneaked out of back doors and through underground tunnels to avoid the veterans because they knew that their decision would be unpopular. Instead of standing in solidarity with the veterans, like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, those members in the U.S. Senate in 1932 turned their backs on them.
Like President Obama, progressive President Herbert Hoover also took a stand against the military personnel who had served their country. He too called out the “big artillery” just like Obama, but in his day it was General MacArthur and Dwight Eisenhower. Also, in the ranks was General George Patton.
When the veterans refused to leave because they believed justice had not been served, 200 Calvary men along with 400 Infantry men with tanks, stormed the Washington Mall and tore down tents in their makeshift camps and destroyed their possessions. If that was not bad enough, MacArthur, ignoring orders from President Hoover took it upon himself to also burn down their shacks.
Like Obama, who allegedly retired for the evening during the horrific attacks in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, when four men, including a U.S. Ambassador, called for backup from this President, history also recorded another president, President Hoover, who looked out the window and with full knowledge of the destruction that was taking place went to bed. The American public turned against President Hoover after his disgraceful treatment of the veterans and did not re-elect him.
While President Obama’s acts this weekend did not equal those of President Hoover only history and time will tell whether Obama is willing to take more drastic steps as Hoover once did. Nevertheless, Obama’s recent show of force was equally as disrespectful toward a group of men and women who have served this country honorably.
When will the American public show their disdain against this President as the citizens of America once did against another tyrant president? Or, will history show that President Obama is immune from any condemnation for dishonoring America’s beloved veterans?
Note: Susan Knowles is an author, psychotherapist and former practicing attorney. Her latest book, a political fiction, is entitled, “Freedom’s Fight: A Call to Remember” available on Amazon.com. Her website is www.susanknowles.com.
“‘We Are Marching to the White House’: ‘Million Vet March’ Descends on Washington, Barricades Torn Down,” at theblaze.com
“Bonus Army,” at Wikipedia.com
Pictures of the Million Vet March courtesy of The Blaze.