The organizers of the march on the World War II Memorial resented Tea Partiers Sarah Palin and Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee hijacking what was meant to be an “apolitical” march on Sunday.
“The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC was not in alignment with our message,” says the “Million Vet March on the Memorials” website.
“We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle is about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin all spoke at the Values Voters Summit last weekend and joined the Sunday march in protest of the closure of parks and malls during the government shutdown.
Palin even gave a speech to activists in which she vowed “not be timid in calling out any who would use our military, our vets, as pawns in a political game.”
Protest organizers said it was Tea Partiers carrying Confederate flags and calling out in front of the White House for President Barack Obama to “put down the Quran” and “come out with his hands up.”
One man was arrested at the memorial for carrying a rifle and ammunition.
Organizers say they made the mistake of partnering with “certain groups that have piggy-backed off our grassroots efforts.” They were embarrassed by the “disheartening acts of a few powerful Washington elite and political extremists jumping on the opportunity to make money.”
“While we support many of those groups common causes for Veterans, we do not support the manner in which they go about it,” the group said on Facebook. “We chose instead to not incite or create panic.”
The group claims it simply wants to change policy that makes these sectors non-essential during a shutdown. A veteran travelling to the WWII memorial, the group says, may be seeing these monuments for the last time.
“We are all military brats, current and former military spouses and some veterans,” the website states. “We cannot express how utterly disappointed we were that our Greatest Generation were being used as political pawns in the ongoing government shutdown and budget crisis. This should never be the case.”