D-Day veteran memorial cemeteries located on Omaha Beach in France are facing closures. This is the latest casualty in the budget battle in congress, joining the long list of services affected by the government shutdown. Visitors are being turned away as the cemeteries have their gates locked with posted signs of apology.
The closed site, Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, overlooks Omaha Beach, reports Yahoo! News. Omaha served as one of the Allied landing points during the first wave of the invasion of Europe. Unlike the other beaches, Omaha proved to be a difficult and bloody push from American troops who rushed the beaches while dodging fire from entrenched German forces.
According to France 24, every year the memorial cemetery hosts over one million visitors wishing to pay their respects to the more than 9,300 US troops buried there. The D-Day cemetery is home to the remains of US veterans who fought in major battles in both World War I and World War II.
Unfortunately, this is not the only US veteran memorial site to face closure after the government shutdown on Tuesday. The D-Day memorial in France is just one of 23 sites around the world that remain closed Wednesday. Several European countries host US memorial sites, including ten others in France. Mexico, the Philippines, Panama, and Tunisia also have cemeteries for US veterans, all closed until a budget agreement is met in Washington.
Though most cemetery workers have not gone to work, they say they are confident they will be paid, since it is required under French law. Local businesses are beginning to worry that an extended closure will impact them.
Much like the D-Day memorial closure in France, the World War II Veterans Memorial Park in Washington D.C. closed. In an act that has gotten much attention, a number of WWII veterans took to storming the park, ignoring police and posted signs.