I love when I hear a story about an individual in this world who steps up during a time of crisis to help out in any way they can and where they have no expectation of receiving anything in return. Chris Cox is an example of such a person who has been spending his days and evenings picking up trash, cutting grass, and blowing leaves to keep walkways clean that the government currently is not doing because of the shutdown.
A native of Mount Pleasant, S.C. and living just outside Washington D.C. in Alexandria, VA, Cox visited one of the representatives of his native state, Rep. Mark Sandford, to voice his displeasure with the shutdown. While Sandford assumed the visit from Cox would be the end of it, he was greatly surprised to find Cox flying his state’s flag and maintaining the grounds around the Lincoln, Vietnam, and World War II memorials shortly after his visit.
When Cox was asked by a radio station why he was doing the grounds maintenance, he simply responded, “These are our memorials. Do you think that we’re just going to let them go to hell?” He also told the station that he’s not motivated by politics but wanted to keep the memorials looking tidy for the veterans who were going to be arriving for a planned Million Vet march on Washington. Sadly, he was approached by a US Park Service Officer who told him he needed to cease and desist his grounds maintenance even though the park service wouldn’t be maintaining those areas for now.
I want to first congratulate Mr. Cox for stepping up and volunteering his time to cover a job that has been affected by this U.S. Government shutdown. This is a terrible time that has many people out of work and wondering when they will be able to return to their jobs. Obviously of those currently on furlough, are the people who would normally be doing that grounds maintenance which Cox was covering. So I just find it so completely ironic that while the government can’t come to agreement on the fiscal Federal budget, it still has the audacity to direct a U.S. Government employee to end an upstanding citizen’s quest to helping out the government free of charge.
Imagine for a moment if everyone stepped up and starting doing similar things like Cox did to help out in areas that have been affected by this government shutdown. Would the government then tell each of those people to stop what they’re doing also? It really is sad that a man couldn’t do this one action from his heart in this country without being prevented by the government from doing so. While I’m sure it most likely has something to do with liability, the truth is that Mr. Cox was doing a thankless job and a favor for the government.
Nevertheless, for the brief period of time that Chris Cox did volunteer his time and maintain those memorial grounds, I consider him an example of a hero in our country. To me, heroes are those people who step up and offer some part of themselves to achieve a greater good without asking for anything in return. Mr. Cox did just that. I certainly hope for our government’s sake that they will pass this fiscal Federal budget soon so that things like those memorials and their grounds will begin to be maintained once again. It’s then that people will be able to continue truly appreciating all of their beauty and the symbolism they represent which was to honor our country’s hero’s who had hearts just like Chris Cox.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson