Washington D.C. MUST Add Handicap Restrooms at Monuments and Memorials
As I mentioned earlier this week, I wanted to unleash another "rant" and today is the day. I think you too will agree with me and be just as upset. Livid is a better choice of words.
Authors Note: I have started a petition below on change.org. Please sign and share to help us help those in wheelchairs and especially our Veterans who served our country so valiantly. These Monuments and Memorials were built to honor them.
When asked what the biggest surprise for me was on my Honor Flight trip to Washington D.C., it was actually something I was not prepared for, only because I have never had to deal with this issue.
People in wheelchairs!
My veteran was confined to a wheelchair and couldn't use the restroom by himself, so I had to pretty much do everything for him and was honored to do so. But it hit me like a ton of bricks when we visited the memorials; namely the Lincoln Memorial since this is where our "situation" happened.
Let me backtrack a bit, and I will not try and be too graphic, but I must get my point across. Keep in mind that millions of people travel here each year and even young adults have issues using the restrooms because they are few and far between.
When we first arrived at the World War II Memorial, most of our veterans had to use the restroom and the line was very long. But when you add in the complication of people who don't necessarily have control of, well, you get it, it's beyond frustrating, considering there is ONLY ONE HANDICAP bathroom to use. My veteran had to use one, so I cut everyone off and pushed ahead.
WHY ARE THERE NOT FACILITIES SOLEY FOR THE HANDICAP?
The World War II Memorial gets about 3.5 million visitors each year, and we know many, if not most, are veterans. Many are from World War II. Do the math. They are not young people. These memorials were built for them, so one would think restroom facilities would have been a huge consideration.
Anyway, this was not what is causing my rant today, it was at the Lincoln Memorial!
Over 6 million people visit the Lincoln Memorial each year. It's the most visited Monument in Washington D.C., and for good reason. Wow... what a sight to see.
Well, my veteran had to use the facilities so off we went. To my horror, there was only one stall (luckily there was no one waiting for it), and you may not believe this, but it wasn't even big enough to contain the wheelchair. Well, it would have if you didn't want to shut the door. Wait, the door wouldn't even latch if Casper the Ghost was in there. A complete shambles of a bathroom... at the Lincoln Memorial.
So I shoved his wheelchair out of the handicap stall and set my backpack against the door so we would have some sort of privacy. I had to completely change my hero and by the time it was all said and done, we had spent over 35 minutes in that restroom. My warrior was so frustrated with the situation (the whole bathroom thing at the memorials in general) by that point he swore he would never travel again, especially to Washington D.C.
SHAME ON YOU WASHINGTON D.C. This is how you repay our veterans when they come to see their memorials in your city? You should be embarrassed and your city leaders need a good spanking and then thrown into the Potomac River. I was going to take a picture of the restroom, but after 40 minutes from start to finish I too was so frustrated we both couldn't get out of there fast enough.
From there, it was off to the Iwo Jima Memorial and it was no better, maybe even worse for the handicap. Wheelchairs had to be taken backwards up curbs, huge chunks of asphalt missing and the bathroom facilities were porta potties; one for the handicapped.
Please don't take this the wrong way. I am NOT bashing these memorial and monuments. I am bashing the lack of attention they get and so deserve for our veterans. Think about it. Common sense would dictate that a large number of the visitors are not "spring chickens" anymore and they "soil" themselves just waiting to get into a bathroom.
Am I the only one who thinks this is a major problem that needs addressed? I will be sending a copy of this to Washington D.C. personally, plus every member of congress and the city leaders and I hope you too will help. Do we need to start a campaign to get more bathrooms built? I'm sure many of you reading this have experienced the same thing for yourselves and you know EXACTLY why I'm ranting.
I think it's total and complete BS to treat our veterans like this, and even further, ANYONE IN A WHEELCHAIR DESERVES BETTER.
Pull your heads out Washington D.C. and spend less money on $100 lunches for your politicians, and build bathroom facilities for the handicap. Wait, you and I are paying for all that anyway, so why can't they allocate some of my hard earned money for something worthwhile?
OK, I'm done ranting. Time to get to work and get something done, and I hope you are by my side on this and will help them take notice!