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World War II Historian Not Surprised by Vets Storming the Memorial

One of the iconic moments of the government shutdown happened Tuesday, when World War II veterans, some in wheelchairs, stormed the barricades set up around the National World War II Memorial, defying the shuttering of the site. Rick Atkinson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the famed Liberation Trilogy of World War II, wasn’t the least surprised.

World War II veterans were not about to be denied. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)
World War II veterans were not about to be denied on their visit to D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

“Well, I think if you’re going to put up barricades, you’d better remember that these are the guys who managed to storm Omaha Beach and Tarawa and Iwo Jima. So the odds are that few Park Service barricades, even if they are octogenarians and older at this point, aren’t going to do much to thwart them,” Atkinson told CQ Roll Call.

Atkinson, whose final part of the trilogy, “The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945,” was released in May, will be reading from his latest and discussing it as part of the Roll Call Book Club on Oct. 9 at 77 K St. NE. Free, from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. To register for the event, go here.


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