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Government shutdown, veterans clean up memorial

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 11:39am

The government shutdown has left a number of Hawaii monuments and memorials without any type of regular upkeep for two weeks. A group of military members and their families decided to change that, Kirk Matthews has more.

Fifty members of all branches of the military and their families came to the Arizona Memorial Monday morning to take care of the grounds, thank social media for that.

Dylan Welter, Volunteer, "Saw the word on Facebook and I thought what better way to support those who got this country where we are. And since no one was taking care of it, I figured why not help with everybody else."

At one point, police were called to the scene. The volunteers were suspected of trespassing, after a brief conversation, it was understood why the volunteers were at the Arizona.

Matthew Miczynski, Volunteer, "Pride, really. We hate to see our land, this is everyone's right to be here and it's nice to have it be the way it should be in order to have it honor the ones who this land honors."

Visitors who planned to come to the memorial were disappointed, but appreciated the work of the volunteers.

Jane Smith, Tourist, "I think it's marvelous. It shows respect for what has happened in the past and how they feel about the place so we're very impressed."

Tourism and the military are the two biggest industries in the state. Governor Neil Abercombie is anxious for Congress to reach an agreement on the federal budget to get the state back on track, "I guarantee you that a bill dealing with the re-opening of the government, the funding, the debt limit, it will pass. It will pass with a bi-partisan majority."

Being in the military is hard work, but this is hard work, too. Is it the toughest?

Dylan Welter, "No, sir. No, sir not at all. I think taking care of my little one and my wife is the most physical. Love you, Babe." (laughs)

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