[COMMENTARY] The government shutdown through the eyes of Abraham Lincoln

By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer

What follows is a column I wrote in 2013. I find no reason to change a word.

I look out onto the Reflecting Pool, and there are no reflections of visitors to this Capital.

There are no people touching and tracing the names of the soldiers on the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

No heads are upward toward the Washington Monument.

The Jefferson Memorial is quiet.

We can do better.

There is no traffic near the Hill.

There are no paychecks for our fighting men and women.

Nearly a million people are idle.

We can do better.

I’m told a fence blocks entrance to the Grand Canyon,

And the Casa Grande Ruins stand alone in the desert.

Late summer park vacations have been cancelled.

We can do better.

Like my monument, the nation is frozen in time, held hostage by the absence of statesmanship

We can do better.

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