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WWII veterans storm D.C. memorial closed by government shutdown
stars and stripes ^ | October 1, 2013 | By Leo Shane III

Posted on 10/01/2013 2:45:16 PM PDT by dennisw

WASHINGTON — Wheelchair-bound elderly veterans pushed aside barricades to tour the World War II Memorial Tuesday morning, in defiance of the government shutdown which closed all of the memorials in the nation’s capital.

The four bus loads of veterans — visiting from Mississippi as part of a once-in-a-lifetime Honor Flight tour — ignored National Park Police instructions not to enter the site as lawmakers and tourists cheered them on.

“We didn’t come this far not to get in,” one veteran proclaimed.

The scene was both emotional and comical at once. After it was clear they had lost control of the situation, Park Police officials stood aside, telling press that they had “asked for guidance on how to respond” to the breach of security.

As 80-something veterans slowly walked around the massive war memorial, Park Police stood quietly to the side, advising other tourists that the site was technically still closed. But they made no moves to stop the wishes of the war heroes.

The memorial was closed because of the government shutdown which started 11 hours earlier, after lawmakers failed to pass a temporary budget plan to keep nonessential federal programs operating. Republicans and Democrats have been stalled in budget fight for weeks, mostly over legislative add-ons dealing with the new healthcare law.

As a result, more than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed Tuesday, set to return only after Congress reaches a compromise. National parks and federal buildings were closed down. And the WWII Memorial — along with the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and much of the rest of the Capitol — were barricaded, to keep tourists away.

Several Republican lawmakers were on hand to greet the Mississippi Honor Flight veterans at the memorial on Tuesday, and nodded thoughtfully as the greatest generation representatives voiced their displeasure at being turned away from their own memorial.

Organizers said the trip took months of planning and nearly $100,000 in donations for airfare, food and buses. A dozen more are scheduled in the next week.

“It’s great to be here, but it’s really disappointing that we can’t get closer to see it,” said Gene Tolley, a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Pacific during the war. “I came through the city back in high school, but I was looking forward to coming back and seeing this.”

He got his wish.

As Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, distracted a Park Police representative, other lawmakers and their staff helped topple the metal fences. A bagpiper on hand for the event led the men past the crowd and into the heart of the memorial, attracting a large, applauding crowd.

“This just means so much to me,” said Alex “Lou” Pitalo, an Army vet who also served in the Pacific during WWII. “I waited 70 years to get a welcome like this. And to get to see this and to have all those people clapping … I’m just so happy. This was amazing.”

Officials from the Honor Flight network, which organized the tour, said they have advised upcoming trip planners that the memorials will not be open to the public, and to plan accordingly.

Meanwhile, at press time, Park Police said they were still reviewing how to handle similar problems in the future, since they still have no indication when the government shutdown will be resolved.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: barrycades; greatestgeneration; honorflight; memorials; obamahissyfit; oldnews; operationwhipcracker; shutdown; wwiiveterans
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1 posted on 10/01/2013 2:45:16 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw

Go vets!


2 posted on 10/01/2013 2:46:03 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( ==> sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: dennisw

You know it is completely Mickey Mouse to “close” the memorial. Probably takes more manpower to “close” it than have it open


3 posted on 10/01/2013 2:46:35 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: dennisw

Has anybody heard if anything’s happening at The Wall?


4 posted on 10/01/2013 2:46:40 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Don't twerk me, Bro!)
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To: smokingfrog

I know that it currently is unfashionable on FR, but I’d like to give some kudos to the Park Police.


5 posted on 10/01/2013 2:48:38 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: dennisw

Where does the Imperious DC Gov’t get off keeping people out of an open air monument-memorial? You need Park Rangers there to supervise??? Fire 50% of Federal workers, half do nothing useful.


6 posted on 10/01/2013 2:48:38 PM PDT by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: dennisw

Darn anarchist!


7 posted on 10/01/2013 2:48:45 PM PDT by hope (Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!)
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To: dennisw
Well, duh, damn right you need somebody there to supervise. Otherwise, this sort of thing would be an everyday occurrence:


8 posted on 10/01/2013 2:50:34 PM PDT by shego
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To: dennisw

If the Park Police can be there to close it they can be there to keep it open.

This is nothing but pure unadulterated Harassment.
Nasty minded Bullsh*t designed to hurt tourists.

These Monuments do not require a staff, they are open to the world.

As long as liberals aren’t attending they do not need cleaning.


9 posted on 10/01/2013 2:50:41 PM PDT by Venturer ( cowardice posturing as tolerance =political correctness)
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To: dennisw

There were some great photos of this earlier. Absolutely the right thing to do.

And on another note, why is it cheaper to pay park police to close all these parks, instead of just keeping them open?

I guess that’s a rhetorical question. It’s kind of like Obama closing the White House to school tours, while keeping it open for weekly rap parties.


10 posted on 10/01/2013 2:50:50 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

The objective of this vile bunch is to inflict maximum pain on the people for not giving into the demands of our Dear Leader, meanwhile keeping their cronies on the payroll and the Leader in golf and other vacays.


11 posted on 10/01/2013 2:54:16 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: dennisw

OUTSTANDING!


12 posted on 10/01/2013 3:01:46 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Osama Obama Care: A Religion That Will Have You On Your Knees!)
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To: 1rudeboy

I agree with you. They were left to deal with it with no guidance and they honored the veterans by not interfering.


13 posted on 10/01/2013 3:07:02 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Gay State Conservative
POWDER RIVER, Let’er Buck”
14 posted on 10/01/2013 3:08:40 PM PDT by BooBoo1000 ("All Pigs are equal, but some Pigs are more equal" George Orwell, Animal Farm.)
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To: dennisw

Iowans in Steve King’s district can be proud they have a man of character representing them.


15 posted on 10/01/2013 3:08:52 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: 1rudeboy
I know that it currently is unfashionable on FR, but I’d like to give some kudos to the Park Police."

Reminds me of a song. Where's Public Enemy when you need them?

16 posted on 10/01/2013 3:10:03 PM PDT by semaj
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To: dennisw

THIS is how you do it...

you do not need park rangers, tour guides or any other petty beaurocrat to tour the nations memorials..

JUST DO IT..

make them arrest you..


17 posted on 10/01/2013 3:10:51 PM PDT by joe fonebone (a socialist is just a juvenile communist)
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To: dennisw

They don’t have money to keep it open so they pay guards to be there.What changes when it is open?


18 posted on 10/01/2013 3:12:53 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll eventually get what you deserve)
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To: dennisw

Nearly 70 years after Normandy and Iwo Jima, these vets still know how to land in enemy territory and take the beachhead.

Fantastic. Maybe there’s a lesson we can learn.


19 posted on 10/01/2013 3:15:15 PM PDT by sergeantdave
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To: dennisw

Yeah...

Hey Obie-won.. what ya gonna do?


20 posted on 10/01/2013 3:16:01 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: dennisw
Hmmmmm…. seems some WWII VETS have scoffed at yet another WON’s red line ;)


21 posted on 10/01/2013 3:18:28 PM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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To: joe fonebone

>> “make them arrest you.” <<

.
I don’t recommend it.

Once witnessed a brutal beating and handcuffing of a father of two small children for the offense of spreading a blanket on the ground to have lunch, at Yosemite park.


22 posted on 10/01/2013 3:20:22 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: philetus

Last time I was there, you just walked up to it and into it. It didn’t appear to be staffed, or need anybody staffing it. There wasn’t any fence around it or anything. They had to pay someone to come put a little portable fence around it to ‘close’ it for the shutdown.

I had to fight the urge to jump up from my desk and cheer when I read about this earlier today.


23 posted on 10/01/2013 3:21:19 PM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: dennisw

What a wonderful story! Thank you for the post.


24 posted on 10/01/2013 3:21:28 PM PDT by BfloGuy (Workers and consumers are, of course, identical.)
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To: dennisw

This was a few days ago and really deserves its own thread. I don’t have time to post that, so here it is - share and share alike...

I was blessed to have the honor of accompanying my father to Washington DC Sept. 17th, 2013 on the West Coast Honor Flight. My official capacity on this trip was as a Guardian for a WW II Veteran. The day started arriving at 0400 (4AM) at the Allegiant Airlines gate at the St. Petersburg - Clearwater International Airport. Greeting everyone was the ground crew from West Coast Honor Flight with handshakes, slaps on the back and a hearty breakfast from McDonalds. Once everyone arrived, there were 80 veterans and 80 guardians plus 20 of the ground crew. We boarded the flight and headed to Baltimore International Airport for the bus ride to Washington DC. Arriving in Baltimore, we got our first glimpse of how the day was going to go. Several uniformed service men and women greeted each vet, welcoming them to Washington and as we headed for the buses the people heading off to work or heading on vacations would stop and clap and yell. “Thank you for your service”. It was a very humbling experience.

We boarded the 3 buses that were needed to transport all of us and the wheel chairs to our first destination - the US Air Force Museum. Once there, we were able to view not just this remarkable museum but we could also see many of the sites surrounding the area. The weather was spectacular as well and that gave us time to learn more about our vets as well as the sites we came to visit. The hosts provided a sack lunch. Then we headed off for the Korean and Vietnam Memorials. There they gave us ample time to wander the large area and visit each memorial and witness the amazing outpouring of gratitude that we encountered with the others who were visiting the parks. Perfect strangers walked up and shook the hands of the hero’s, asking to take a picture with them. You just couldn’t remove yourself from the strong feelings from watching this remarkable event.

You should have seen the faces of the veterans as they looked at the memorials and read the descriptions engraved in the stones surrounding these sacred places. Our next stop was the World War II Memorial. We gathered all the Veterans for a group picture and then escorted these hero’s around to see everything that could be seen. Here again perfect strangers coming up to congratulate these men and women. We even encountered a group of active Army soldiers that were in uniform who quickly gathered these vets together for another picture but with these soldiers standing at attention saluting the hero’s before them. What a site!

Afterwards we boarded the buses for the ride back to Baltimore and our flight home. Once arriving back in Clearwater these men and women discovered what a real “Hero Welcome” is all about.

There were hundreds of people gathered at the airport with flags waving. Large banners welcomed them home. The Star Spangled Banner, Army and Air Force personnel and even a Brigadier General shook each man and woman’s hand and thanked them individually once again for their service. It was a site to behold. Before they departed for their homes they marched by the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus. The Knights saluted them and then were involved in picture taking with the Bomber Girls in front of a huge American flag.

This is a day that will live in the hearts and soul of each man and woman as well as their guardian who went with them on this glorious day.

God Bless.


25 posted on 10/01/2013 3:22:45 PM PDT by George from New England (escaped CT in 2006, now living north of Tampa)
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To: DJ MacWoW
They were left to deal with it with no guidance and they honored the veterans by not interfering.

You bet, no guidance. Who would want to be the one to make the call to arrest 90 year old vets?
26 posted on 10/01/2013 3:24:26 PM PDT by Shannon
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To: Shannon

It would have been a PR nightmare.


27 posted on 10/01/2013 3:31:41 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: GeronL

Yeah...

Hey Obie-won.. what ya gonna do?


I bet Obama doesn’t even know the World War II Memorial exists.


28 posted on 10/01/2013 3:36:57 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: dennisw

I’m now watching ABC “news” and Diane Sawyer sounds as if it is the end of the world as we know it!


29 posted on 10/01/2013 3:38:54 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need 7+ more ammo. LOTS MORE.)
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To: editor-surveyor

I don’t recommend it.

Once witnessed a brutal beating and handcuffing of a father of two small children for the offense of spreading a blanket on the ground to have lunch, at Yosemite park.


Tell us the whole story. Sounds like BS to me.


30 posted on 10/01/2013 3:39:50 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: dennisw
Sequester and government-shutdown for thee, none for me!!!

Where shall I take my next $100,000,000 taxpayer-funded vacation?

31 posted on 10/01/2013 3:40:00 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Religious faith in government is far crazier than religious faith in God.)
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To: dennisw

Wonderful story. Thanks.

Three years ago, I flew with my now 96 year-old father to Wash. DC. to see the WWII Memorial. (and Arlington National Cemetary, among other monuments) He served in the Pacific and later was active during the Berlin airlift. He worked very hard with his time and dollars to see it built. He wept as he used his walker to go through it.

He wept again today, when he watched The Greatest Generation finally gain admittance to the Memorial.

On Thursday, Mr. RR and I are again flying to Wash. D.C. to take our nine year-old grandson to see the Memorial and other sites. I pray that we are able to see them.


32 posted on 10/01/2013 3:49:29 PM PDT by Rushmore Rocks
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To: George from New England

Thanks, George. I so wish my dear dad were still around to see the memorial.


33 posted on 10/01/2013 3:52:02 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Don't twerk me, Bro!)
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To: shego

Whoever sprayed Lincoln should have used red


34 posted on 10/01/2013 3:56:59 PM PDT by patriot08 (NATIVE TEXAN (girl type))
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To: Rushmore Rocks
Three years ago, I flew with my now 96 year-old father to Wash. DC. to see the WWII Memorial. (and Arlington National Cemetary, among other monuments) He served in the Pacific and later was active during the Berlin airlift. He worked very hard with his time and dollars to see it built. He wept as he used his walker to go through it.

Thanks for the testimony!!! And thanks Dad!!!   My father was in WW2 (France) and made it to 94 so more long life to your indomitable father

35 posted on 10/01/2013 4:00:12 PM PDT by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: dennisw

This is awesome!! Just think if all politicians didn’t take any crap from bureaucrats this way:

“As Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, distracted a Park Police representative, other lawmakers and their staff helped topple the metal fences.”


36 posted on 10/01/2013 4:06:53 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Just wanted to say I hope you great NSA folks are enjoying my posts here.)
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To: dennisw

>>> Meanwhile, at press time, Park Police said they were still reviewing how to handle similar problems in the future, since they still have no indication when the government shutdown will be resolved. <<<

Well mr. Park Police. You let them in! They and their brethren paid for it - IN BLOOD! They can damn well visit it, any time they damn well please!


37 posted on 10/01/2013 4:09:26 PM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: dennisw

We don’t need no stinking badges.


38 posted on 10/01/2013 4:19:43 PM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL WASHINGTON! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
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To: joe fonebone
JUST DO IT..

make them arrest you..

Correct, think "occupy."

These park folks don't want to be at the start of nor be the cause of revolution part two.

39 posted on 10/01/2013 4:20:10 PM PDT by Not now, Not ever! (Girlfriend suggested I use pelosi in place of swear words, A good idea, I think)
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To: dennisw

This was on our local news this evening. The barriers weren’t toppled, they were simply swung open and the veterans simply walked in. There was also a congressman there blaming the White House for the barriers. I’m sorry but I didn’t catch who it was. All in all is was a decent photo op and it didn’t cast the White Hut in a good light.


40 posted on 10/01/2013 4:22:03 PM PDT by MulberryDraw (That which cannot be paid, won't be paid.)
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To: DJ MacWoW

.........I totally agree too! These guys should be treated with reverence!


41 posted on 10/01/2013 4:25:13 PM PDT by Cen-Tejas (it's the debt bomb stupid!)
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To: Riley

So it does cost taxpayers more to keep WW2 vets away from the WW2 memorial.I thought they might have to pay a multitute of gov. employees to man a booth where WW2 vets had to buy their permit to look at the WW2 memorial.


42 posted on 10/01/2013 4:30:56 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll eventually get what you deserve)
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To: dennisw
BEAUTIFUL!
43 posted on 10/01/2013 4:35:59 PM PDT by 444Flyer (How long O LORD? Habakkuk 2;Isaiah 55)
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To: dennisw

Was the “honor” flight of 80 year old veterans gate raped by the TSA?

“asked for guidance on how to respond” to the breach of security.”

I bet they will have the dogs out and fully loaded M4’s with those Hollow Point training rounds in 30 round magazine’s.

Tazers at the ready!

Teach those old geezers to storm the memorial. Terrorists!


44 posted on 10/01/2013 4:39:51 PM PDT by Southern by Grace (kickbacks, bribes, maifia payoffs is how the D's get R' done!)
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To: sergeantdave
Nearly 70 years after Normandy and Iwo Jima, these vets still know how to land in enemy territory and take the beachhead.

They are STILL our heroes!
45 posted on 10/01/2013 4:43:23 PM PDT by yorkiemom
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To: dennisw

Obama was probably hoping for a photo-op, showing the wheelchair-bound WW II vets sadly stopped at the shuttered gate. Does anyone know if the media was there today, or are these all private photos? I’m guessing that if they were there, the media, once they witnessed the (gasp!) civil disobedience, slunk away in horror, hoping to bury the story.


46 posted on 10/01/2013 4:45:15 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: dennisw

If there was a request made for temporary volunteer caretakers for these monuments and parks, there would be an outpouring of support from the public. These are the people’s parks. Not the politicians. With such volunteerism There would be no vandalism.

All we need is leadership that is willing to provide a method for volunteers to help. All of these Americans and foreigners that then had planned vacations to attend the parks could be handled. If only we had leadership and foresight from both Parties. Instead the only thing they want is to get reelected.


47 posted on 10/01/2013 4:54:45 PM PDT by apoliticalone
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To: philetus

Probably Same trick as with the sequester.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Monument_Syndrome


48 posted on 10/01/2013 4:54:57 PM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
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To: laplata

Try it yourself then.


49 posted on 10/01/2013 5:05:10 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: dennisw

Evil ploy by Obama and his enablers i.e. using government employees to close a public financed memorial. Being a vet of WWII with service in the Pacific just another notch against the bunch. To make matters even more disgusting for me is that my brothers name, killed on Okinawa, is kept from a person like myself who donated funding for the Memorial only to find that someone like Obama, a coward from military service’ can be given authority to block me from paying respects at any time. I hope that all vets of WWII will see this as a crass use of authority from a joint smoking draft dodger provided he was a USA citizen.


50 posted on 10/01/2013 5:12:38 PM PDT by noinfringers2
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