Government shutdown closes some Gettysburg historical sites

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A rainy day in Gettysburg isn’t stopping most people from enjoying the history the area has to offer.

"The beautiful pictures and the information that they have, you really learn a lot about Gettysburg and you feel like you’re there,” said one visitor.

"We just love knowing about our history, America’s history. Yeah, gettysburg is awesome. It’s haunted,” said another.

But the dark cloud over Capitol Hill right now might be.

"When we planned the trip three or four months ago, you wouldn’t expect the government to be shut down," said another visitor.

"So far, the Eisenhower Farm is the one thing we have not been able to see. That is closed,” said another.

The government went into a partial shut down on Saturday, after Congress was unable to negotiate a spending agreement that included a $5 billion in funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

And as the shutdown continues, some sites in gettysburg remain closed indefinitely.

"If you’ve driven past the Soldiers’ National Cemetery or the Eisenhower National Historic Site or the David Wills House, those are owned and operated by the National Park Service, so those are not accessible at this time," said Teddi Joyce, vice president of marketing and sales at the Gettysburg Foundation.

In other areas, parks and battlefields remain open, but so long as the shutdown continues, park rangers are not available to add to the educational experience.

Government employees are also responsible for cleaning the parks and taking out the trash- another service that is currently unavailable.

But people can still access the parks on their own, and the National Military Park Museum and Visitor’s Center is also open and fully operating.

And it’s these functions that Norris Flowers, president of Destination Gettysburg!, say has tourism this week higher than in years past.

"Actually we picked up some people. We are seeing people from the Washington DC area coming to Gettysburg because we’re getting the word out that we are open, so some of those visitors are actually coming to Gettysburg for an experience," said Flowers.

According to a sign posted outside the Soldiers’ National Cemetery, anyone visiting a National Park Service property during the shutdown is entering at their own risk.

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