Seeking to blunt the worst of the government shutdown, the Obama administration agreed late last week to reopen national park sites in five states after governors said they would pony up millions of dollars to pay the workers needed to run them.
Among the parks are three of the most iconic sites in the U.S.: the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Statue of Liberty in New York and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
“I’m gratified the Obama administration agreed to reverse its policy and allow Arizona to reopen Grand Canyon, Arizona’s most treasured landmark and a crucial driver of revenue to the state,” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement Friday.
It was the latest decision for the National Park Service, which was reeling from bad press after it closed the World War II Memorial on the Mall, trying to deny entry even to veterans who had traveled to Washington specifically to visit the monument.
On Sunday, veterans and others took to the Mall to protest the shutdown, and went so far as to take the metal barricades from around the memorials and try to carry them to the White House.
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