For many of us fellow travelers, National Parks serve as an easy place to go and get away for an extended trip or maybe just a quick weekend. Now, with the recent government shutdown in the U.S., we have been forced to cancel our plans and look elsewhere for our time away from the real world. So how is the government shutdown affecting national parks? Let’s take a look at what people across the country have been dealing with the recent government shutdown.
First off, it’s important to understand what the exact definition of a national park is. This shutdown does not only affect beautiful parks like Zion National Park or the Grand Canyon National Park, but also includes museums and monuments that are run by the National Park Service. During the last government shutdown in the mid-1990s, over 9 million people were turned away when trying to visit such places. During this shutdown, some Vietnam veterans even broke through the warning signs in order to visit national memorials.
Some travelers have had even more problems with the recent shutdowns affecting national parks as their weddings have been postponed due to lack of entrance. Hundreds of couples across the country have been forced to either relocate or reschedule their weddings, which you could imagine has had an enormous impact on not just the couples, but their family and friends who have spent thousands of dollars on travel, food, room and board, and more. Luckily for one couple — who had planned on trading their vows at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. — Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert came to rescue and decided to officiate their wedding on air.
While it is uncertain how long the government shutdown will last, it’s safe to say that people across the United States have become more and more frustrated with lack of agreement among government officials.
Tom Sachs, who just returned with his wife from a Ho Chi Minh Vietnam tour, didn’t experience anywhere near the level of inconvenience. This means something needs to be done to keep the US parks from falling down the international standard that Americans have been used to in the past.