Help our neighbors waiting and worrying

Published 7:27 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2019

As I write this, the partial government shutdown enters its 32nd day and no closer to being resolved in Washington D.C.

Meanwhile, thousands of federal workers — some of them right here in Vicksburg — remain in limbo, waiting on the politicians to decide their fate.

Two measures in the U.S. Senate that are expected to fail would temporarily reopen the government through Feb. 8 while talks on border security continue.

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Either package would need to hit the 60-vote threshold to advance on Thursday, a tall order in the narrowly divided Senate where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority.

President Donad Trump’s wall  along the U.S.-Mexico border is the key sticking point in the standoff with Democrats that has led to the partial government shutdown, which enters its second month and approximately 800,000 federal workers face another Friday without paychecks.

Many of our neighbors who work for the National Park Service at the Vicksburg National Military Park are currently furloughed, while the local U.S. Coast Guard service members are still on the job but likely won’t receive a paycheck for the second time during this shutdown.

Vicksburg officials and volunteers who have generously given of their time, money and resources to keep the VNMP open should be commended for their efforts. The economic impact if the biggest tourist draw in Mississippi were closed would be catastrophic to our community.

Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign have been bearing the bulk of the load to keep the VNMP open, but they could use some help. It is estimated that it costs $2,000 per day to operate VNMP at the current minimum level. They are seeking monetary donations from the community and have received support from all over the globe.

Please, if you can, consider making a tax-deductible donation by visiting or visit their Facebook page.

And kudos to those like American Legion Post 3 and the Storehouse Community Food Pantry for stepping up to help fill the gap for those U.S. Coast Guard members who are currently impacted by this government fiasco.

Those in the community who would like to make donations to assist Coast Guard service members are asked to either call American Legion Post 3 at 601-634-1114 or message them on their Facebook page.

This just proves, once again, that our community steps up when called upon and if we all can help a little, it would add up to mean a lot to our economic vitality and for these service members until our elected politicians can get their act together. 

Rob Sigler is editor of The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at