The Herbert Hoover Gravesite Ceremony set for Sunday was “in peril” due to the federal government shutdown, according to organizers.
Jerry Fleagle, executive director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, said Tuesday that unless Congress agreed this week to a continuing resolution that opens the federal parks like the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, the gravesite would be inaccessible.
The Hoover Association normally recognizes Hoover with a gravesite ceremony during Hoover’s Hometown Days, but this year, months before the shutdown, decided to host the event on the day of his death, Oct. 20.
“It’s hard to honor President Hoover when you can’t get to his gravesite,” Fleagle said in a statement.
As of press time, the ceremony was still set for noon Sunday, he said. But the Association kept an eye on Congress and made a final decision Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the afternoon.
“The gravesite ceremony honors Herbert Hoover’s many accomplishments in his life, and features a bagpipe and drum procession to the gravesite, color and honor guards, wreaths laid by the Belgian government, the White House and Hoover family. Allan Hoover III, the late president’s great-grandson, is the speaker for the program,” Fleagle said. “How ironic it is that a great humanitarian like Herbert Hoover, who often said in emergency situations, (for us to) look to Main Street for help and solutions instead of the government, to have a solemn ceremony honoring his service possibly stopped by politicians in Washington, DC.”
The Association’s final decision was posted on their Web site and released to media outlets, he said.
Fleagle noted that the Hoover Uncommon Student Award had to relocate last Saturday due to the shutdown, and that “thousands of school children were scheduled to take field trips” to the Hoover Complex.
A special exhibit, “Iowans in the Civil War, the Western Theatre,” is scheduled to close Oct. 27, “and many groups had planned on touring the Museum during (its) final weeks.”
For more information, you may contact the Association at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 319-643-5327.