RealNews

Attack Could Shut 5 Landmarks

The Washington Monument, the White House and three other national landmarks would likely be closed to the public in the event of a terrorist attack, but a war with Iraq does not necessarily mean the attractions would be off-limits to visitors, a National Park Service spokesman said yesterday. In addition to the Washington landmarks, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell pavilion in Philadelphia and the St. Louis Gateway Arch could be closed temporarily if the nation experiences another terrorist attack like that of Sept. 11, 2001, said Park Service spokesman David L. Barna. All five sites closed to the public after the attacks on Washington and New York. The Washington Monument, the Liberty Bell and the Gateway Arch reopened to the public within a week. The tourist sites, however, would not necessarily be closed solely because of a war with Iraq or because of an increase in the nation’s terror alert status to Code Red, Barna said. “A war itself would not close anything,” he said. “During the Vietnam War and Desert Storm, we didn’t close sites.” Park superintendents have the flexibility to determine whether a change in status to Code Red would warrant closings, Barna said. “They have some leeway out there,” he said. “You have to wait and see what the Code Red is about.” Full Story

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