Historic Monroe battlefield makes contingency plan for commemoration weekend

Historic Monroe battlefield makes contingency plan for commemoration weekend

MONROE, MI (WTOL) - All was quiet Saturday at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe.

The visitors center was closed.

Scheduled activities were moved.

The park was a victim of the government  shutdown.

It's a big weekend for the park too.

Events were scheduled to commemorate the 205th anniversary of the Battles of the River Raisin.

You can still tour the battlefield.

But a sign explained why the center was closed and events scheduled at the National Park were moved to city property.

"We anticipated it coming. So with the anticipation of it coming, this was our contingency," said Toni Cooper of the park foundation.

An event originally scheduled at the Monroe County Museum was part of the weekend festivities.

Historian Don Hickey came to talk about the War of 1812 and role the River Raisin Battlefield played in it.

John and Cathy Phillips drove down from Dearborn, Michigan disappointed to learn the visitors center was closed.

Who do they blame for the shutdown?

"I blame all of them. Republicans,  Democrats, the president equally," said Mr. Philips.

Ms. Philips had only one group in mind for the blame.

"I blame the Democrats because they did hold hostage the dreamers. I do believe that," said Ms. Philips.

Mr. Hickey says the War of 1812 and government shutdown are similar because the American people were every bit as divided back then as they are today.

"And I find that reassuring. We've been deeply divided on five different occasions in our history and the only time it led to bad news was in 1861 when the Civil War erupted. We'll get through it," said Mr. Hickey.

And when we do, that visitors center will re-open.

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