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Government Shutdown Closes National Parks

By Evelina Burnett | Published 02 Oct 2013 06:00am | comments
A sign blocks the road leading to the campground at Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Visitors to Mississippi's eight national parks are feeling the immediate impact of the federal government shutdown. MPB’s Evelina Burnett spoke to visitors leaving the Gulf Islands National Seashore campground, which closed to visitors yesterday morning.
 
An RV is leaving the campgrounds at Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs, where a big sign reads "PARK CLOSED." Delores and Paul Emerick are heading back towards their home in Mesa, Arizona. They both had strong feelings about the government shutdown that's cutting short their visit to the Mississippi coast.
 
"I'm going to remember it at the next election, like probably so many other people will," Deloros says. 
 
Her husband Paul spoke of past travels to Philadelphia, where the U.S. constitution was written.
 
"Compromise was tantamount to what occurred there," he said. "And why we can't have these people act like adults, rather than children. We're their given charges and they need to take care of us, and they're not."
 
The shutdown has also forced Johnny Sims of Dunedin, Florida, to cut short his visit to the campground. He says it's an inconvenience but he'll find another place to stay nearby. Here’s what he thinks of the shutdown:
 
"I think it's dangerous when a political party tries to use the faith and credit of the United States government as hostage to get the things that they want," he says. "If you can't generate the votes to get the things you want passed, passed, or the things you want repealed, repealed, then you should just accept them, like the rest of us do."
 
Gerald and Bobbie May from Livingstone, Louisana, had to turn around when they saw the campground was closed.
 
 
"We were visiting the area, and we're avid campers and we have an RV, so we thought we would check it out," he said. "Very disappinted the park was closed." 
 
One group of Mississippians who didn’t let the shutdown stop their visit to a national monument: about 90 veterans on the Gulf Coast Honor Flight, who were in Washington Tuesday. According to news reports, the determined veterans pushed through park service barricades to see the World War II memorial.  

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A sign blocks the road leading to the campground at Gulf Islands National Seashore.


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