Public Was Uninvited From Memorial Day US Capitol Celebration

The 2022 PBS National Memorial Day Concert took place outside the United States Capitol, but you probably weren’t there to witness it. The exclusive, nationally televised PBS event, which was only open to congressional VIPs and their friends, was closed to the general public.

To protect the few people allowed to attend, hundreds upon hundreds of Capitol Police officers guarded the perimeter. But you would be wrong to believe that there was a huge crowd and that bad actors would attack to inflict maximum harm. In reality, the event was only accessible to 500 spectators.

The rest of us unfortunate, unconnected folks were never informed—unless someone happened to stumble upon a specific section of the concert’s website—nor were we offered the option to view it on a large screen from a distance. Many thousands of spectators gathered at Capitol to view a performance that they were not permitted.

You have nothing to worry about if you are famous, wealthy or just know the right people. You will have the opportunity to sit near other famous, wealthy, and well-connected individuals on the stage. While celebrities and artists are part of a filmed performance which will air to millions, tax-paying common citizens who simply want to see their favorite artists perform and remember those who sacrificed their rights will not have the chance to see it in person.

Memorial Day is dedicated to the brave soldiers who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today. The freedom to express our opinions, criticize government, and live the life we choose. However, the families of those who gave their lives in support of these rights are not allowed to participate in this celebration.

As it turns out these celebrations are just a way for the elite to get a pat on the back and have their faces reprinted on the TVs of many millions. Why didn’t they invite the public? Fear of a COVID-19 superspreader

I was able to wander among the crowd outside the barricades, and I interacted with both them and the police officers who were “protecting” the people inside. Both the Capitol Hill police and citizens were filled with shame, dismay, and indignation.

Ordinary people came expecting to enjoy a night with the stars, to listen to pleasant music, and to celebrate the sacrifices of those who have given their lives for our country. But each one was prevented from viewing an event that was being held on taxpayer-funded ground by barricades or police officers.

One officer said, “They should have canceled this,” while another stated, “They’re paying us nearly $1,000 per day plus overtime to protect 500 people.” Indeed, they could not even defend their presence there.

Who makes these decisions? Did a boardroom full of seemingly knowledgeable people unanimously—or by majority vote—decide that it would be a good idea to ignore the substantiated science that states COVID-19 transmission outside is almost impossible, and prevent all but 500 people from witnessing the event live? Did they really think that this was the best action for a celebration of our soldiers who fought for our country? Did they not foresee that the relatives of those non-selected veterans would be barred from attending a performance commemorating their sons’ or daughters’ deaths?

Celebrities, politicians, and other important actors in the economic-political environment marched with thousands anti-police violence demonstrators for many months. I recall individuals with advanced scientific and health degrees defending these demonstrations on the grounds that police violence posed a greater danger to the public’s health than COVID-19. (Studies show that approximately 30,000 people were killed by U.S. Police since 1980. More than 1 million have been killed since 2020 by COVID-19 in America. I can recall that the number of COVID-19-related deaths soared in the aftermath of these rallies. There was no condemnation from politicians or the media for the potential to cause thousands more.

Everyone has the right to their opinion. However, your perspective is worthless if it contradicts your own views. I would argue that allowing the public the opportunity to honor the sacrifices of our troops is more beneficial to our overall health than the potential for COVID-19 spreading at outdoor events.

However, now the public is being prevented from viewing the event and hundreds of thousands are being taken out of their pockets and put in the pockets of the police, who do not know why they are protecting the elites.


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