Chris Cox, a South Carolina artist, said he decided to take it upon himself to do the job usually performed by Park Service employees who were put on furlough during the shutdown, WNEW-FM, Washington, reported Thursday.
Cox, who dubbed himself the "Memorial Militia" said he felt obligated to make sure the National Mall was presentable for veterans ahead of the coming weekend's planned Million Vet March and he has been using his own time, money and equipment to clean the memorials and maintain the grass.
"These are our memorials. Do they think that we're just going to let them go to hell? No," Cox said. "If they shut down our memorials, we're still going to take the trash out, we're going to clean the windows, we're going to cut the grass, we're going to pull the weeds, we're going to do the tree work."
Cox said park police left him alone for several days, but asked him Wednesday to stop his one-man crusade due to liability reasons. Cox said he agreed to stop his work for the time being.