To the editor:
Do you have any idea how inaccurate and offensive it is to compare our National Park Service to the Gestapo?! It’s disgusting.
As a park employee, I was very near the action and saw how the guests were treated. To say that “armed guards” locked people inside hotels like prisoners is completely inaccurate. The so-called “armed guards” were regular park rangers. Yes, they were armed, like any other police in the U.S. Yes, they did not let people recreate, and continue to not let even employees recreate.
But nobody understands it’s for the safety of the people. There are not enough park personnel available during this shutdown to keep people safe. Do you have any idea how many people (specifically foreign people) ignore danger signs in thermal areas? Or how many people approach wild and extremely dangerous animals?! How many people get injured in the back country and have to be rescued? People can’t be trusted to use common sense here, as sad as that is.
So yes, keeping people from recreating is a necessary evil during this shutdown.
But to compare our National Park Service members to Gestapo officers from the Holocaust is disgusting. These NPS officers are dealing with this shutdown and are way more affected by it that the visitors that were “manhandled.” It sucks that the vacations of so many people were ruined. But for the NPS officers, this is affecting their livelihood and their ability to do their job.
So for your newspaper to grossly over dramatize this story is pathetic. And your reporter and editor should get their facts straight before publishing such a story. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. An apology to the National Park Service should be published in your next print.